Chennai: India set up a quarterfinal clash with Australia after beating the West Indies by 80 runs to finish second in Group B of the World Cup here on Saturday.
Chasing 269 to win, the West Indies lost their last eight wickets for just 34 runs to get all out for 188 after being 154/2 at one stage. However, they too went through to the quarterfinal and will take on Pakistan.
MS Dhoni chose to open the bowling with R Ashwin and the offie struck in the fourth over of his spell to get India the much-needed early breakthrough
Ashwin seemed to have caught Kirk Edwards (17) right in front with his 'carrom' ball but umpire Steve Davies gave it not out. Dhoni chose to review the decision which came out successful as the TV umpire overruled the on-field call to give Edwards out.
Dhoni also pressed Harbhajan Singh into service in the sixth over of the West Indies innings after just a couple of overs form Zaheer Khan, thereby tying Caribbean batsmen with off-spin from both ends.
But Darren Bravo and Devon Smith played through a tricky phase and started picking up the scoring rate en route to bringing up the 50-run partnership for the second wicket.
Dhoni, though, kept ringing changes and surprised the Windies by bringing Suresh Raina on to bowl. The part-timer didn't take time to get India their second wicket by dismissing Bravo (22) in his first over when the West Indian southpaw mishit a long-hop straight into the lap of Harbhajan at long-on.
But Smith kept going about his task efficiently with a fifty and got his team a boundary every now and then to keep the required run-rate under control.
In the meanwhile, Dhoni held back eight overs from Zaheer who returned only in the 30th over but struck right away to break a 63-run patnership between Ramnaresh Sarwan and Smith. The Indian spearhead went through Smith's defences to dismiss him for 81.
That gave Harbhajan a lift who made it a double blow in the very next over by removing the dangerous Kieron Pollard (1) who holed out at long-on.
Wicketkeeper Devon Thomas then strode in to join Sarwan who was holding the other end intact.
Dhoni, on the other hand, kept chopping and changing his bowlers, this time bringing in Yuvraj Singh who seemed to have recovered from the dehydration bout he suffered during his century knock.
Yuvraj didn't take long to produce a jaffer that drew Thomas (2) out of his crease, enough to allow Dhoni take the bails off in a flash.
The West Indies' fall didn't halt there, with captain Darren Sammy (2) becoming the next casualty by way of a run-out, followed by Andre Russell who cut a wide Yuvraj delivery straight into the hands of a waiting Yusuf Pathan at point.
With last-hope Sarwan still there, West Indies chose to take the batting powerplay in the 39th over.
But it was all too late in the day for the West Indies who, by now, had lost all the power required in the powerplay.
Sulieman Benn (3) was the eighth Caribbean wicket to fall as he tried to loft Zaheer over mid on but could only hit it as far as Munaf Patel.
With the writing on the wall, Sarwan, having reached 39 off 68 balls, tried to launch a last-gasp effort but failed miserbaly to become Zaheer's third scalp of the day.
It was only a matter of time that India drove in the final nail which came in the form of Ravi Rampaul getting bowled by Ashwin, who ended his impressive spell with figures of two for 41, to give India an 80-run victory.
Zaheer was once again the pick of the bowlers with three for 26 in his six overs, while Man-of-the-Match Yuvraj Singh took two wickets to complement his hundred. Harbhajan and Suresh Raina took one wicket each.
Earlier, a five-wicket haul by Ravi Rampaul helped West Indies restrict India to 268 after the hosts lost their last seven wickets for just 50 runs to get bowled out in 49.1 overs after MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first.
Sachin Tendulkar (2) was the first Indian wicket to fall when he got a feather touch off his bat to a delivery by Rampaul, who bowled a fiery opening spell. India's score was just eight at that stage.
Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli then tried to steady the Indian ship with a watchful partnership but could not take the score further than 51 when Gambhir (22) became Rampaul's second victim in the ninth over of the innings.
Yuvraj Singh came in to join Virat Kohli who had got his eye in by then. The Indian pair went from strength to strength, crossing the 50 and 100-run partnership and bringing up their respective half centuries to put Indian in the driver's seat.
West Indies skipper recalled Rampaul into the attack who answered his skipper's call right away with the wicket of Kohli as the Indian batsman chopped a straightish delivery onto his stumps to give West Indies a much needed breakthrough.
Kohli's wicket also ended the 122-run partnership that seemed to have put India on course to reach the 300-run mark.
Yuvraj, though, continued uninhibited and brought up his hundred off 112 balls, which included 10 fours and a six.
Just when it looked India will look to press home the advantage from that stage, skipper MS Dhoni (22) committed harakiri to get stumped off Devendra Bishoo to give West Indies their fourth wicket.
That kicked off the collapse in the 44th over when India lost the last seven wickets for 50 runs to slide from 218/3 to 268 all out in 49.1 overs.
Suresh Raina (4) failed to use the opportunity he got in this match when he sweeped a delivery off his legs stright into the hands of Rampaul at short fine leg.
All the hopes of a final push then rested on the shoulders of Yuvraj who was foxed by Kieron Pollard to give him a simple return catch after making 113 off 123 balls. Pathan (11) and his lusty blows again went missing as he became the fourth wicket of the innings for Rampaul.
The West Indies' bowlers then cleaned up the Indian tail, with Ravi Rampaul leading the bowling charts with his spell of five for 51.
Andre Russell took two wickets while Darren Sammy, Devendra Bishoo and Kieron Pollard took a wicket apiece.
So India once again not only failed to bat out 50 overs but also made a mess of the batting powerplay in which they lost four wickets for 28 runs.
The co-hosts will meet defending champions Australia in the second quarterfinal at Ahmedabad on March 24, while West Indies face off Pakistan in the first one on March 23.