India put up yet another clinical display to defeat defending champions West Indies by a thumping seven wickets in a group league encounter to brighten their chances of a semi-final berth in the ICC World T20, in Mirpur, on Sunday.
It was an authoritative all-round performance, as they first restricted the West Indies to a modest 129 for seven and then knocked off the runs with two balls to spare.
Yuvraj Singh (10) was a bit scratchy in the end, but Suresh Raina finished off the match with a square cut off Sunil Narine.
Virat Kohli, in the middle of a great patch, again batted well to smash his way to 54, while Rohit Sharma did his cause no harm by notching an unbeaten 62.
Virat faced 41 balls, hitting five fours and a six, while Rohit's knock contained five fours and two sixes off 55 balls.
This was after Indian spinners, led by man-of-the-match Amit Mishra, kept the West Indies' batting under tight check.
It was also the first time that India beat the West Indies at a World T20 event.
With back-to-back victories over Pakistan and the West Indies, India are now on top of Group 2, and a victory over Bangladesh will clinch them a last-four berth for the first time since the inaugural edition in 2007.
The chase was delayed by 10 minutes due to confusion about the target. But once the match resumed, the only blip was Shikhar Dhawan (0) being adjudged lbw off leg-break bowler Samuel Badree.
Kohli and Rohit were not in a mood to delay the proceedings further as they tore apart the West Indies bowlers with some clean hitting.
Rohit picked up Narine for some special treatment and lofted him over long-off for a six. His second six was a half-tracker that was pulled over the deep mid-wicket boundary.
Kohli started with a four and then pulled Badree over deep mid-wicket for a six. After that there was no stopping the Indian batsmen, as both matched each other stroke for stroke during their 106-run partnership for the second wicket, the century of the stand coming in only 74 balls.
Earlier, the Indian spinners yet again put up a dominating show.
Mishra again performed admirably and was the pick of the bowlers with fantastic figures of two for 18, while Ravichandran Ashwin (1-24) also kept the batsmen under a tight leash with his leg-stump line.
Ravindra Jadeja (3-48) took some stick from Lendl Simmons (27), but must be lauded for getting important breakthroughs, as Team India's spin trio accounted for six of the seven wickets that fell during the innings.
Chris Gayle (34) was the West Indies' top scorer, but was not at all in his element, even as the other batsmen showed their weakness against a quality spin attack.
But no one can take credit away from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who bowled a brilliant first-spell inside the six Powerplay overs, which yielded only 24 runs.
His three-over spell read an astonishing 3-0-3-0, with 16 dot balls, against the crack pair of Gayle and Dwayne Smith.
Smith, in fact, was repeatedly beaten trying to get a feel of Bhuvneshwar’s out-swingers as there was relentless pressure on the Caribbean batsmen from the onset.
At the other end, Gayle was lucky to survive a scare even before opening his account. He tried to flash hard at a length ball from Shami and an easy catch was dropped by Ravichandran Ashwin at first slip.
Gayle tried to make up for it in Shami's next over and hit him for a six over long-on, and then punched him through the vacant mid-wicket region for a boundary.
When Mishra was introduced into the attack, Gayle welcomed him with a six. It was his routine stand-and-deliver six over longon.
But the leggie was distinctly unlucky when he varied his length and bowled a fuller delivery next up. Gayle tried the slog sweep and it was one of the easiest of skiers that was dropped by none other than Yuvraj Singh. He made a mess of it, completely misjudging the catch. The batsman was on 19 then.
Ashwin, meanwhile, redeemed himself as he got an out-of-sorts Smith, who couldn't pick up a carom ball, and the return catch was taken by the bowler after covering some distance.
Smith could only manage 11 off 29 balls.
The West Indies completed their 50 in 10.4 overs, but Gayle, despite the two reprieves, wasn’t able to break free. He and Samuels played a few singles trying to get into the groove before a horrible mix-up saw Gayle trudge back towards dug-out.
Samuels cut Mishra and went for a non-existent single only to find one of India's better fielders in Rohit Sharma. Rohit threw the ball to Dhoni, who had backed up behind the stumps, as Gayle was midway through his single. His 33-ball-34 had a boundary and two huge sixes.
Mishra then got Samuels out with a flighted delivery as the batsman gave him the charge and missed the leg-break. Dhoni completed easiest of stumpings.
Dwayne Bravo (0) got a first-ball googly which spun back sharply to find his pads and the West Indies were reduced to 74 for four.
Mishra was on a hat-trick which opposition skipper Darren Sammy averted. But the West Indies’ chances of getting a big score had ended by then.
Image: India's Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma (right) run between the wickets against West Indies during their ICC Twenty20 World Cup match at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka
Photograph: Andrew Biraj/Reuters