Sometimes watching sport all you can do is grimace. Tension is palpable. Hands clasp faces. The ball flies over the fence – again and again, and again. The Black Caps' unbeaten run at this World Cup is over. And then it is not. So many fortune changes it is impossible to truly capture.
Oh, the contrasting emotions. Carlos Brathwaite, inches away from a match-winning knock, sank to his knees, one ball after notching his astonishing century off 82 balls, as he holed out with six runs required to a brilliant Trent Bout catch on the boundary that saved the Black Caps' blushes. What a finish. What a match.
Jimmy Neesham, the most unlikely character in the death department, turned hero after Boult and Lockie Ferguson had bowled out and Brathwaite clobbered Matt Henry for 25 runs the previous over to turn this contest on its head.
Somehow, Neesham and Boult combine to help New Zealand pull a five-run victory out of the West Indies fire.
As much more fancied contenders stumble and crumble around them, the Black Caps are the World Cup Jenga tower that refuses to fall.
Sway wildly in the wind, sure, but not yet fall.
Pull both pieces from New Zealand's fragile top order in the first over, for the first time in a World Cup, and still New Zealand stays upright to post an under-par 291 on a flat track, thanks again to the inspirational Kane Williamson.
Throw the free-wheeling "world boss" Chris Gayle at the bowling attack, and even after dropping him three times, still New Zealand stands.
Such is the theme of their engrossing tournament, thus far.
Convincing New Zealand have not been. Backbone, though, they have in spades. That's why they remain unbeaten.
India are the only other nation that can claim such a privileged position.
Playing under immense home pressure, England, the world's No 1 ranked ODI team, have already lost their bottle twice to crumble to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, who previously looked well off the pace.
India, too, were pushed to the brink, the last over, before escaping with an 11-run win over Afghanistan today.
Likewise the Black Caps have often lost navigation directions to find themselves on the difficult, dramatic road. Maybe they like a challenge. But in doing so, and emerging out the other side, they are perhaps mastering the art of overcoming adversity.
Such a path could yet prove invaluable.
Holding your nerve builds character, and with the Black Caps now near locked in the semifinals, that's exactly what they'll need as the knockouts approach.
The difference between New Zealand and the other top echelon sides is, perhaps, their mentality. Every match the Black Caps know they must scrap for everything. And fight they have.
Sure they are living dangerously. But they are well alive.
New Zealand rely too heavily on talismanic captain Williamson, who again saved his side after compiling his second successive century, his highest ODI score of 148, to fast make a case for the most influential figure at this World Cup.
With worrisome batting collapses punctuating New Zealand's squeaky wins over Bangladesh and South Africa, Williamson may be papering over batting cracks.
At some point, even he may struggle to compose another great escape.
With Colin Munro horribly out of sorts, and Tom Latham's lack of form in the middle order a growing concern, New Zealand have issues to amend.
Fielding also needs attention.
If there's one man you should never give second or third chances to, it's Gayle.
Long one of the most destructive openers, Gayle turns 40 in September and these days barely moves one pace either side of close in fielding roles. But just as the power punch is the last trait heavyweight boxers lose, Gayle will always be lethal wielding willow.
Gayle had been largely subdued – his sole half century in this tournament coming in the comfortable opening win over Pakistan. Chasing a meager 106, there was never any pressure.
Prior to today, that was his only knock of substance.
The Black Caps did their best to play him into form.
Three times they let him off the hook. First Boult shelled Gayle on 15. Then Henry, in-front of Old Trafford's towering temporary terraces that spark memories of Athletic Park's Millard Stand, butchered a catch at deep square leg with Gayle on 58.
One run later, Munro had a sharp Gayle chance at deep mid-wicket fly past him.
At that point, "catches win matches" rung in the ears as Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer powered an effortless 122-run partnership from 97 balls – one that threatened to take the game away.
Yet just as they responded in other pressure situation, once again the Black Caps regrouped.
Ferguson, the game-changing strike weapon, removed Hetmyer and West Indies captain Jason Holder in the space of two balls. Colin de Grandhomme nabbed the big Gayle scalp for 87 – Boult making amends for his earlier drop – and the Windies' resistance began to wilt.
Curtly Ambrose's frustrations were clear as he stormed through the press box with his countrymen losing 5-22 in 28 balls.
Ferguson, 3-59, and Boult, 4-30, combined superbly, only for Brathwaite to almost pull off the impossible.
Many elements of New Zealand's game must improve.
But as the Manchester sun set in the distance, the overriding sense is top of the table is more than anyone envisioned.