But after more than four hours off the field, the umpires eventually decided there was no prospect for of even a 20 overs per side match-the minimum required under the Duckworth-Lewis method for rain-affected matches-being completed on Tuesday.
The Indian Cricket Team fought through till the end against New Zealand on Wednesday after rains stopped the match on Tuesday. While league stage matches are just called off and finished as a "no-result" awarding a point to each teams, crucial games like the semi-finals and finals are given a reserve day.
Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first in the semi-finals against the Men in Blue.
That would have necessitated a 6.35pm start, but the rain did not relent, leaving India with the more palatable prospect of chasing down a modest total in a full 50 overs today.
New Zealand had made 211 runs after losing five players while India is yet to bat.
However, Ravindra Jadeja's brilliant knock of 77 from 59 balls, in a partnership of 116 with MS Dhoni, brought about an exhilarating conclusion.
In India, where cricket is a national passion, there is disbelief with former greats saying it was a mistake to play Dhoni too far down the order.
After 2.4 overs, India was now 5 for two; the world's number one and two ODI batsmen-Kolhi and Rohit Sharma, dismissed in the space of seven balls.
Rishabh Pant added 47 runs with Hardik Pandya to arrest the slide and Pant made 32 before his wild heave off Santner found Colin de Grandhomme near the mid-wicket boundary.
India needed 31 off the final two overs.
Rishi Kapoor, a self-confessed cricket enthusiast, tweeted: "Well played New Zealand, well played India!". We had to assess conditions quickly, I think both sides thought it would be a higher scoring game.
"The faith that the fans had for Dhoni was remarkable but we have seen the last of him in a World Cup, I can't imagine him playing the next one", said Test Match Special commentator Prakash Wakankar.
Faced with a seemingly unattainable target, the Indians sensed urgency, and Dhoni and partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar pushed for a second run on the fourth ball of the penultimate over.