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AB de Villiers (left) vs Chris Gayle: Battle of the RCB giants! © Getty Images

The yet-undefeated West Indies clash with a shell-shocked South Africa in Match 27 of the T20 World Cup 2016 at Nagpur on Friday. West Indies have found themselves in a comfortable position after big wins over England and Sri Lanka. Another victory now will virtually guarantee them a spot in the semi-finals. South Africa, on the other hand, lost in a spectacular finish against England before beating Afghanistan. Another loss will severely hamper their chances of making it to the semi final round. On a side note, this match will also see AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle — two Royal Challengers Bangalore giants — face off. Both men will have some insights into the other, which the teams will look to exploit. Live Cricket Scorecard: West Indies vs South Africa, T20 World Cup 2016, Match 27 at Nagpur

West Indies have surpassed expectations so far in the tournament. After a Gayle special helped chase down a big score against England, they managed to defeat Sri Lanka even without Gayle coming in to bat. A large reason for West Indies’ success has been the form of their spinners Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn. Both men have taken regular wickets and also tied down the opposition. However, in Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, and de Villiers, they have a batting line-up that will be extremely tough to keep quiet. READ: Proteas will try to get rid of ‘chokers’ tag

Andre Fletcher played a match-winning innings in the last game, but West Indies will want their batting to click as a collective whole. Denesh Ramdin has not made the most of his promotion up the order, while Johnson Charles has failed in both matches. Marlon Samuels has not been great in recent times, but did well against England. Andre Russell has been unbeaten in both matches so far and could be promoted up the order as well if needed. READ: Chris Gayle: Irresistible force for West Indies in T20 World Cup 2016

As for the Proteas, the batting has been in great nick so far. The top six batsmen have powered them to successive 200-plus scores – the first time any team has done so in T20 World Cup — but the bowling has been surprisingly poor. Kagiso Rabada, Kyle Abbott, and Dale Steyn have been treated with immense disdain by the opposition. Chris Morris was good in the last game, but David Wiese took a pounding. READ: Dwayne Bravo’s assessment of West Indies is accurate

The match is being played at Nagpur, which we have already seen heavily favouring spin. South Africa’s batsmen struggled desperately against spin in the Test series against India earlier last year, but West Indies are far from good against spin themselves. Imran Tahir, JP Duminy, and possibly Aaron Phangiso will play a role in this match. It is tough to call, but against all expectations West Indies seem to be the favourites ahead of the match.


South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Chris Morris, David Miller, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese

West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Evin Lewis.

Time: 19:30 IST | 14:00 GMT

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he enjoys watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)