Brisbane:Virat Kohli (92) and captain S Badrinath (81) shone with the bat as India spanked defending champions New Zealand by five wickets in their crucial last league match to reach the final of the Emerging Players Tournament at the Peter Burge Oval here on Thursday.
The win was India's fourth of the competition and it took the team's tally of points to 17 to finish second. They will meet table topper South Africa (36), who thumped Australia by 183 runs to maintain their clean slate, in the final.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra's four-wicket haul helped India to restrict New Zealand to 246 for nine before Kohli and Badrinath guided them to 247 for five in 44.3 overs.
Opting to bat, New Zealand got off to a decent start before Bhuvneswar Kumar's (2/38) double strike pegged them back.
Sudeep Tyagi (2/56) also dealt two quick blows to halt New Zealand's progress before Mishra (4/44) ran through the Kiwi middle order to leave them in complete disarray.
Fortunately for New Zealand, Bradley-John Watling stood amid ruins with an unbeaten 114-ball 94, which was studded with eight fours. He got some support from Indian-born leggie Tarun Nethula (42) as the duo gave some respectability to the Kiwi score.
In reply, India got off to brilliant start with Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (24) adding 48 runs in no time.
India were in a spot of bother when Rahane and Naman Ojha (0) fell in quick succession but the 106-run stand between Kohli and Badrinath steadied the ship.
India again lost two quick wickets when Abhishek Nayar (8) and Manoj Tiwari (21) ran themselves out but Badrinath and Wriddhiman Saha (17) ensured there was no more setbacks as they saw the side through.
Kohli's 86-ball 92 included 10 fours and a six, while Badrinath played an unbeaten captain's knock of 84-ball 81 that included five fours and a six.
India: 247 for 5 in 44.3 overs (Virat Kohli 92, S Badrinath 81 not out; Lance Shaw 1-38).
New Zealand: 246 for 9 in 50 overs (Bradley-John Watling 94, Tarun Nethula 42; Amit Mishra 4-44).