• Whether the Black Caps go on to lift the ICC World Cup or not, the nay sayers must have come to the realisation that one must never underestimate the power of self-belief in the sporting cauldron, never mind the odds.
• Australia or England? Ahhh who cares because it's time to savour a semifinal of satisfaction in the knowledge that there's an ideal opportunity to tweak a flawed template that saw the New Zealanders bow out unceremoniously to the Ockers at the MCG four years ago.
Well, it was wicket after wicket after wicket moment and that's why, my friends, the adage "anything can happen" makes the Black Caps' victory over bookies' favourites, India, this morning the biggest upset of the ICC World Cup in England and Wales.
It was the sort of entertainment reserved for the beautiful game a few flat throws away at the adjacent Old Trafford in Manchester but there's no debating even a football match couldn't have sustained the tension New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and his men had protracted on a pitch that had even duped his counterpart, Virat Kohli, into believing it was hoarding runs.
It was always going to be an ODI semifinal that demanded a test-match mentality but seductively beckoned Indian batsmen, in particular, into flirting fatally with lusty sixes and fours.
Ultimately it had remained steadfast as a platform for the quick and the dead. Every ball was an event. Eighteen runs was the difference on a wicket that still perpetuates a tourney myth that flipping the coin and calling correctly somehow guarantees a win.
Sure, Williamson and Ross Taylor had provided a foundation, albeit one that looked 30 to 40 runs shy of a don't-argue total, on the second day of a rain-delayed semifinal.
The spring in the steps of a star-studded Indian batting line up required no interpretation but little did they know the day belonged to the "support acts" of the men in black.
Rock stars Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Kohli went on the batting crease with the promise of fireworks in chasing down 239-8 but the head-shaking trio were back in the pavilion with a pellet each to their names although the skipper's lbw decision looked inconclusive above the knee roll.
Matt Henry picked up the match gong but it could have easily gone to Jimmy Neesham for his one-handed catch to dismiss Dinesh Karthik to reduce India to 24-4 after 10 overs or fellow opening seamer Trent Boult for tightening the screws at one end while Henry collected at the other. Spinner Mitchell Santner didn't want to be left out helping create another chapter in cup history with 2-34 from 10 overs, including two maidens, while Taylor's defiant knock was in contention with Williamson's grind. Lockie Ferguson for picking up the rhythm guitar strings rather than bending his back too much to pluck the lead notes.
Black Caps must keep the faith despite the lean pickings
What the heck, even if the man-of-the-match award had been handed to Indian allrounder Ravindra Jadeja — an afterthought for Indian selectors — no one from the New Zealand camp would probably have blinked.
Even grossly under-achieving opening batsman Martin Guptill had put his hand up for running out MS Dhoni amid controversial post-match claims from grieving India fans that the Kiwis broke fielding rules in having six men outside the inner ring.
With wife/post-match TV interviewer Laura McGoldrick — coming out of silly mid-on yesterday — playing bat/pad to his paltry returns, a relieved Guptill had celebrated like never before. The bags under his eyes will be gone for at least the next two days but the torment of asking for middle and leg one more time will remain if he retains his place over dumped Colin Munro who got on the field today. Was that direct hit sweeter than any century Guppy had bludgeoned his way to?
People, this was a cliched "team effort" to lend credence to the theory that an anaemic batting unit can outplay a star-studded one. Notably Boult had taken control of field placements in the death overs. Williamson, who had consulted Taylor along the way, had diplomatically and commendably cleared the captain's deck for his able seamer.
More importantly, it was an endorsement that bowling dot balls through stifling line and length creates immense pressure where wickets tend to take care of themselves, especially when edgy batsmen don't like to be dominated.
If India's new-ball merchants Jasprit Boomrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could adhere to bondage and discipline so could Boult, Henry, Ferguson and Santner although there was the odd occasion when they tried to stray from the mantra to do something different when wickets weren't tumbling.
Overall, the bowling attack had tied down the batsmen to their crease with aplomb.
Sharma, Rahul and Kohli were all guilty of hanging their willows outside the off stump in the 53-over affair (both sides had traded extras).
A lousy 20 runs each from them would have been enough in a false economy and how painful it must be to reflect on those poor fielding moments on day one even though Kohli could only put his finger on "poor shot selection".
The two days have been about keeping the faith in the Kiwi camp, ignoring absurd rhetoric about finding mongrel and "having some swagger".
Talk, especially on social media platforms, is cheap. It's not the booming sixes that eke out victories. It's the defiant occupation of the cricketing Gaza Strip that ensures teams have enough wickets in hand to chance their arm in the death overs.
Muscling one's way out of trouble makes room for using the space between one's ears under duress.
The Gary Stead-coached Black Caps had followed the example of their circumspect skipper in keeping their feet on the ground as fireworks went off around the stadium before the final at Lord's on Sunday.
If this was the greatest accomplishment in New Zealand cricketing history then where does it leave the win over South Africa at Eden Park, Auckland, in the cup semifinal in 2015?
The prudent will accept the result against gargantuan odds is simply another illustrious chapter as one more beckons to break the shackles of never having lifted the cup.
Australia or England? Who cares, it's time to savour a semifinal of satisfaction in the knowledge that there's an ideal opportunity to tweak a flawed template that saw them go out unceremoniously to the Ockers at the MCG four years ago.
As for the now irreconcilable Indian fans who were reduced to unashamedly clasping their hands and looking skyward for devine intervention from the cricketing gods, it'll take time but they'll remove the foul taste of the odd gripes they may harbour to appreciate the opposition simply wanted this victory more than their super stars.
Mercifully the days of effigy-burning irate fans outside the homes of players is part of a ritual of a bygone era in the subcontinent.
Williamson and Kohli showed you don't have to get ugly in trying to win or accepting defeat.