PERTH, March 6 (PTI): Defending champions India today survived a scare before defeating a spirited West Indies by four wickets in a group league encounter to romp into the quarterfinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup here with four wins on the trot.
Chasing a modest target of 183, India�s top-order struggled due to poor shot selection before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni�s composed unbeaten innings of 45 helped them reach the target in 39.1 overs and ensure their fourth consecutive win in the tournament.
However, it wasn�t as commanding as the previous three wins as the batting was scrappy, the fielding shoddy with as many as four catches being dropped and the bowling lacking discipline at times with 16 wides during the West Indies innings.
By virtue of this victory, India stretched their winning run at the global event to eight matches stretching from 2011 edition�s group league match against West Indies in Chennai. The eight wins thus equals the record of Sourav Ganguly-led team�s effort during the 2003 edition in South Africa.
Dhoni, who had a poor run of form in recent times played an innings of substance that had three boundaries and a six off 56 deliveries. West Indies pacers� 19 wides also helped India�s cause after a wobbly start got them off track.
The Indian batting was put to test for the first time in the tournament even though it was a smallish target. The pace and bounce of the WACA strip did play its part but more importantly, the shot selection of the batsmen was pretty poor today.
India got off to a disastrous start as they lost both the openers cheaply and the middle order batsmen never really looked comfortable at the crease.
Shikhar Dhawan (9) again went for a Jerome Taylor delivery outside the off-stump which was not of drivable length and was caught by Darren Sammy at second slip. Rohit Sharma (7) got fuller delivery from Taylor and the outside edge was taken by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
Virat Kohli (33, 5x4) played some crisp on drives as well as a lovely cover drive adding 43 runs for the third wicket with Ajinkya Rahane (14).
Till the time Kohli was at the crease, he looked compact most of the times although there were a few good deliveries from both Taylor and Kemar Roach which had him in some sort of bother.
But it was a well disguised short ball from Andre Russell that brought about his end going for an ugly-looking pull-shot. He was off balance and also eyes were not on the ball as it went straight to the fielder at deep fine leg.
Kohli�s departure at the end of 15th over created more pressure on Rahane, who was completely out of sorts today as he even failed to cash in on free-hits. He was finally out fishing a Roach delivery to Ramdin behind the stumps. He asked for a �review� but umpire Nigel Llong�s decision was upheld and his miserable stay of 34 balls ended.
Suresh Raina (22) and skipper Dhoni � the two most capped ODI players in this team got together and looked like getting things back on track when Raina flashed at a rising delivery from Dwayne Smith to give Ramdin his third catch of the day.
Ravindra Jadeja�s discomfort against fast and rising deliveries is well known and it wasn�t any better on the day as he also fell prey to the pull-shot being caught in the deep.
Dhoni played a patient knock and was ready to wait for the loose deliveries as he knew that the target was always in reach. He ran well between the wickets and got a six when he slashed hard at Russell delivery. With Ravichandran Ashwin for company, the invaluable 51 runs added for the seventh wicket sealed the match in favour of India.
Earlier, Indian bowling unit again showed consistency as they bundled out West Indies for a paltry 182 in 44.2 overs.
West Indies: Dwayne Smith c Dhoni b Mohammed Shami 6, Chris Gayle c Mohit Sharma b Mohammed Shami 21, Marlon Samuels run out 2, Jonathan Carter c Mohammed Shami b Ashwin 21, Dinesh Ramdin b Yadav 0. Lendl Simmons c Yadav b MM Sharma 9, Darren Sammy c Dhoni b Mohammed Shami 26, Andre Russell c Kohli b Jadeja 8, Jason Holder not out 57, Jeroma Taylor c & b Yadav 11, Kemar Roach not out 0; Extras (LB 5, W 16) 21; Total (10 wickets; 44.2 overs) 182; Fall of wickets 1-8, 2-15, 3-35, 4-35, 5-67, 6-71, 7-85, 8-124, 9-175, 10-182; Bowling: Mohammed Shami 8-2-35-3, Umesh Yadav 10-1-42-2, R Ashwin 9-0-38-1, Mohit Sharma 9-2-35-1, Ravindra Jadeja 8.1-0 27-1.
India: Rohit Sharma c Ramdin b Taylor 7, Shikhar Dhawan c Sammy b Taylor 9, Virat Kohli c Samuels b Russell 33, Ajinkya Rahane c Ramdin b Roach 14, Suresh Raina c Ramdin b Smith 22, MS Dhoni not out 45, Ravindra Jadeja c Samuels b Russell 13, Ravichandran Ashwin not out 16; Extras (B 1, LB 3, W 19, NB 3) 26; Total (6 wickets; 39.1 overs) 185; Fall of wickets 1-11, 2-20, 3-63, 4-78, 5-107, 6-134; Bowling: Jerome Taylor 8-0-33-2, Jason Holder 7-0-29-0, Kemar Roach 8-1-44-1, Andre Russell 8-0-43-2, Dwayne Smith 5-0-22-1, Marlon Samuels 3.1-0-10-0.