India reached their third World Cup final with a 29-run victory over Pakistan in a frenetic semi-final between the old rivals in Mohali.
Sachin Tendulkar was dropped four times as he top-scored with 85 from 115 balls as the hosts made a competitive yet sub-par 260-9, left-armer Wahab Riaz claiming a career-best 5-46.
In reply, Pakistan's top six all got starts but none was able to go on and make a match-winning score and India were able to wrap up a reasonably straightforward victory, prompting predictably ecstatic scenes in the 35,000-strong crowd.
The hosts may have considered themselves fortunate to make as many as they did after Tendulkar was gifted several lives and survived two television referrals in his 85, while few others made a score of note.
But at least his innings ensured the hosts would not entirely squander an early blitz from Virender Sehwag, who smashed 38 from 25 balls as he tore opener Umar Gul apart.
However, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi turned to Riaz, who gave him the much-needed breakthrough in his first over with a short-of-a-length delivery which pitched on leg-stump and straightened for an lbw verdict from Simon Taufel - confirmed by DRS.
Tendulkar's good fortune began on 23 with two marginal third-umpire rulings.
First DRS overturned Ian Gould's lbw decision to an Ajmal off-break, surprisingly indicating the ball was turning enough to miss leg-stump; then from the very next delivery, Tendulkar over-balanced pushing forward at a doosra but had just re-grounded his foot when Kamran Akmal took off the bails.
Tendulkar's three 'lives' against Afridi's leg-spin came on 27, 45 and 68 - dropped at midwicket by Misbah-ul-Haq, cover by Younus Khan and then behind by Akmal.
The master batsman made the most of his escapes, though - and how India needed him to, as others faltered.
Gautam Gambhir (27) went up the wicket and missed a Mohammad Hafeez off-break to be easily stumped, and then Riaz returned to take two big wickets in two balls with reverse swing.
Virat Kohli got a leading edge to point, and Yuvraj Singh was bowled first ball by a full toss which moved late.
Tendulkar's luck finally ran out when he drove Ajmal low to cover - where, appropriately, Afridi himself took the catch.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25) was dropped by the wicketkeeper off Riaz, but the left-armer responded with an action-replay of Sehwag's dismissal, Taufel's lbw judgement again vindicated by DRS to see off Dhoni and give Riaz a maiden five-wicket haul.
India were therefore left with only one specialist batsman to exploit powerplay - and in the circumstances, Suresh Raina cashed in with a handy 36 from 39 balls as Gul's suffering continued.
The Pakistan reply began brightly but wickets at key moments meant the match gradually slipped away from Afridi's side.
Openers Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez made 44 in nine overs before Zaheer Khan had the former caught by Yuvraj Singh at point for 19.
Hafeez looked to be building an innings of great purpose but he edged Munaf Patel to wicketkeeper Dhoni for 43 off an ill-conceived paddle, and when Yuvraj removed Asad Shafiq (30) and Younis Khan (13) in successive overs 260 started to look a big score.
Misbah and Umar Akmal came together at 106-4 and while they were together at the crease Pakistan's hopes of reaching the final were still fully intact.
But Akmal was bowled by a quicker ball from Harbhajan Singh having made 29 off 24 balls, and when new batsman Abdul Razzaq fell to Munaf with the score on 150 India were firmly in the ascendancy.
Misbah and Afridi held Pakistan's hopes in their hands and although they added 34 neither was able to dominate the bowling and with the run-rate soaring heroics were required.
But it wasn't to be for Afridi, who made 19 from 17 balls before he holed out to Virender Sehwag trying to slog Harbhajan out of the ground.
Misbah was left with the tail and a powerplay at his disposal but he seemed incapable of accelerating until it was too late, his 56 taking 76 deliveries but many of his lustier blows coming when all realistic hope was lost.
Ashish Nehra (2-33) returned to get rid of Riaz and Gul and when Misbah skied Zaheer to Virat Kohli in the deep, the Indians could finally begin their celebrations before turning their attentions towards Saturday's final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.