Super Sixes, Cape Town: India 226-4 (47.5 overs) beat Kenya 225-6 (50 overs) by six wickets
Sourav Ganguly showed bravery and class to steer India from the brink of a collapse to a six-wicket victory over battling Kenya.
The India captain scored an inspirational century to nurse his team back from the early loss of Virender Sehwag, Mohammed Kaif and, crucially, Sachin Tendulkar.
And, in tandem with the impressive Yuvraj Singh, who belted 58 from 64 balls, he saw India to their modest target of 226.
But Kenya played a great part in this Cape Town day-nighter, proving to many doubters that they deserve their place in the Super Sixes, wicket-keeper Kennedy Otieno Obuya earning particular credit for his anchor innings of 79.
In truth though, India had themselves to blame for the their scare, putting in a shambolic display in the field and dropping Otieno three times.
Having won the toss, Kenya captain Steve Tikolo predictably opted to bat first and saw his openers make a promising start, putting on a steady - if unspectacular - partnership of 75.
Otieno compiled 79 valuable runs
However, once the lively Ravindu Shah had got himself run out by the bowler Zaheer Khan for 34, India applied the breaks.
Otieno, who gave three chances off the bowling of an unlucky Asish Nehra, struggled to break free.
And his captain Tikolo continued his disappointing World Cup by holing out to Zaheer off the bowling of recalled Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh.
When Otieno lost his wicket to part-time bowler Dinesh Mongia, Kenyan heads could have gone down.
But all-rounder Maurice Odumbe took up the attack with 34 unbeaten runs to guide his team to a creditable total.
India's innings began in disarray, with Sehwag continuing his miserable slump with a careless shot.
And then, unthinkably, Tendulkar gave away his wicket cheaply, caught out superbly by Tony Suji off the bowling of his brother Martin.
When Kaif disappeared back to the pavillion shortly afterwards, India were in real trouble.
But Ganguly stepped up to the challenge, partnering first the steady Dravid and then the more flambouyant Yuvraj to guide his country home.
His unbeaten century was his 21st in one-dayers - second only to Tendulkar in the all-time list.
It was also one of his most important innings - a true captain's knock.
India: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Saurav Ganguly
(captain), Mohammad Kaif, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh
Mongia, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, Ashish
Kenya: Kennedy Otieno, Ravindu Shah, Brijal Patel, Steve
Tikolo (captain), Hitesh Modi, Maurice Odumbe, Collins Obuya,
Tony Suji, Peter Ongondo, Martin Suji, Thomas Odoyo.