Johannesburg:India pulled off a consolation win over the West Indies in the Champions Trophy, beating a depleted Caribbean side by seven wickets in the low-scoring final Group A match here on Wednesday.
India were already knocked out of the elite ICC event after Australia defeated Pakistan by two wickets in a nerve-wrecking another Group A match earlier in the day.
To the irony of the Indians, Australia had to loss against Pakistan and India had to beat West Indies by a big margin if Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men have to make it to the semifinals.
India rode on Virat Kohli's unbeaten 79 and Dinesh Karthik's 34 to overhaul the West Indies score in 32.1 overs after Praveen Kumar (3/31) and Ashish Nehra (3/22) ran havoc with the new ball and then Harbhajan Singh joining the party with two wickets to bundle out the Caribbean side for 129 in 36 overs.
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Earlier, put into bat, West Indies had a tottering start to their innings and lost half of their side inside 17 overs with Darren Sammy (23), David Bernard (22) and Devon Smith (21) top scoring.
Chasing the modest target, India received the bad news from Centurion that Australia had beaten Pakistan just two over into their innings and the frustration soon became visible, with Gautam Gambhir inside edging a Kemar Roach delivery on to his stumps.
Rahul Dravid marked his arrival at the crease in style, flicking Roach for a boundary in the first ball he faced but the veteran right-hander fell to a terrible mix up with Karthik with India slumping to 16 for two after four overs.
With no pressure under their belt, it was an ideal platform for Karthik and young Kohli to impress upon the selectors and the duo grabbed the chance with both hands and played cautiously to share an 88-run third wicket stand.
Kohli was aggressor among the two as he hit Bernard for three boundaries in the 26th over to reach to his half century, while Karthik played the role of sheet-anchor, dealing in ones and twos with occasional hits to the fence.
Kohli struck nine fours and three sixes while Karthik found the fence four times.
Kathik's sedate innings finally came to an end in the 28th over with Tonge breaking the partnership, held at mid-on by Travis Dowlin.
Earlier, Indian pacers exploited the spongy Wanderers track to the best effect as Praveen drew the first blood removing Andre Fletcher (0) in the last ball of the opening over of the innings.
Comeback man Nehra then dealt double blow, removing Kieran Powell (5) and Smith in the same over.
The lanky left-arm pacers' outswinging delivery got the outer edge of Powell's bat as West Indies were reduced to 26 for two in 7.2 overs and three balls later Smith perished while chasing an away going delivery.
Praveen struck again in the 11th over, removing skipper Floyd Reifer (1) when he had him caught behind by Karthik.
Five overs later, India skipper Dhoni also decided to roll over his arm and registered his first international wicket when he cleaned up Dowlin to reduce the West Indies to 57 for five in 16.4 overs.
Sammy (23 off 38) and Bernard did show some resistance, sharing 32 runs for the sixth wicket before leg-spinner Amit Mishra induced the later with a flighted delivery outside the off stump, only to hand Dravid his second catch of the day.
Sammy was the next to depart with Nehra striking in the first ball of his second spell. The West Indian batsman swats a short ball off his pads but to his irony he found out Mishra at the deep square leg to see the Caribbeans reel at 99 for seven after 29.1 overs.
Harbhajan also registered wickets against his name, picking up Royston Crandon and Roach at the fag end of the West Indies innings. The off-spinner first disturbed Crandon's timbers and then Roach gave a catch to Gambhir at silly point.
Praveen then cleaned up the West Indies batting line up when he caught last man Gavin Tonge off his own bowling to finish off the proceedings.