"It's a great feeling when your team is performing like that," India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said in the post-match press conference.
"We did the same mistakes, we got a good start in the first 10 overs and we didn't carry the momentum. We did bowl well in patches and some times, we weren't up to the mark and have to focus on those areas," she added.
Defending a below-par total, India introduced spin straight away through Deepti Sharma, but opener Rachel Priest (12) hit her for two boundaries.
However, experienced pacer Shikha Pandey removed Priest in the next over. Shikha and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad bowlied in tandem to put the Kiwis under pressure throughout.
Needing 44 off 21 balls, Amelia Kerr (34) blasted four boundaries to accumulate 18 runs in the penultimate over bowled by Poonam Yadav, to bring the equation down to 16 off six balls.
In the final over, Heyley Jensen (11) and Kerr cracked a four each but fell short of the target.
Earlier, 16-year-old Shafali provided the fireworks as India scored 49 for one in the powerplay overs.
"I was happy with the performance and wanted to give a good start at the powerplay. I waited for the loose balls which is my strength and it paid off today. I practised a lot with the boys and I want to thank my dad and all the boys at the practice who helped me train well in batting," said Shafali, who was adjudged the Player of the Match.