Pakistan advanced to the World Twenty20 semi-finals while India crashed out of the tournament despite a one-run win against South Africa in the last Super Eights match on Tuesday.
India had to restrict South Africa to 121 after making 152-6 to qualify for the final four instead of Pakistan by superior run rate. But the Proteas were bowled out for 151 on the next-to-last ball of the innings at R Premadasa Stadium.
"There were instances where we should have had 10, 15 runs more on the board, but we lost too many wickets early,'' India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.
G Gambhir b Morne Morkel 8
V Sehwag b Peterson 17
V Kohli c de Villiers b Kallis 2
R Sharma lbw b Peterson 25
Y Singh b Morne Morkel 21
S Raina run out 45
M S Dhoni not out 23
TOTAL: (for six wickets) 152
H Amla c Sehwag b Khan 0
J Kallis c Sharma b Pathan 6
AB de Villiers b Singh 13
F du Plessis c Raina b Singh 65
JP Duminy c Gambhir b Balaji 16
F Behardien c Raina b Khan 13
R Peterson b Khan 10
A Morkel b Balaji 10
J Botha c Raina b Ashwin 8
D Steyn not out 0
M Morkel b Balaji 6
TOTAL: (all out) 151
"Overall, I'm quite happy with how the team performed.
"If you take the Australia game out, where the rain intervened, we performed brilliantly and can't have control over how other teams played.''
Pakistan beat Australia in their last Super Eights match earlier in the day which ended South Africa's hopes of sneaking into the semi-finals.
Sri Lanka will play the first semi-final against Pakistan on Thursday, while Australia will play West Indies on Friday.
"Disappointed isn't the word to describe it, we've had a poor tournament,'' South Africa captain AB de Villiers said.
"We've let the country down and that's what hurts most. We did all the preparation possible, we thought we were ready but the guys didn't click.''
India made a promising start in the field, taking the wicket of Hashim Amla on the second ball with no runs on the board.
He was caught by Virender Sehwag at slip off seam bowler Zaheer Khan.
Jacques Kallis soon departed for 6, caught by Rohit Sharma off seam bowler Irfan Pathan and India looked seriously in contention for the semi-final spot when captain AB de Villiers was bowled by spinner Yuvraj Singh to make it 46-3.
However, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy put on 49 for the fourth wicket to effectively seal India's fate.
De Plessis hit 65 off 38 balls, including two sixes and six fours, for his maiden Twenty20 international half-century.
Khan and Lakshmipathy Balaji picked up three wickets each, while Yuvraj won the man-of-the-match award after scoring 21 and taking two wickets.
Earlier, Indian batsman Suresh Raina top-scored with 45 to give India a competitive score. He was involved in three crucial partnerships after India lost 36-3.
Seamer Morne Morkel and spinner Robin Peterson picked up two wickets each.