West Indies end their T20 World Cup Super 10 stage with a bid to go undefeated, as they take on upset-minded Afghanistan in a match that will stream live before the featured World T20 match of the day and most important match of the World T20 so far, India vs. Australia.
In the later match, hosts India will play what is now a knockout game against Australia for the final semifinal spot in the 2016 T20 World Cup. New Zealand finished their Group Two schedule Saturday, destroying Bangladesh by 75 runs to wrap up a perfect and seemingly effortless 4-0 run through the group, easily topping the table and booking their reservation in the semifinals.
West Indies, enjoying something of a resurgence on the world scene, scored an edge-of-the-seat three-wicket win over South Africa with just two balls remaining on Friday, clinching their own spot in the semifinals.
Then on Saturday, England held on for a 10-run win over a disappointing Sri Lanka side — the defending T20 World Cup champions — to earn the other Group One berth in the semifinals.
The only question remaining for West Indies is whether they will hold on to their first-place position in the group, allowing them to face the winner of the India vs. Australia match in the semifinals. Or will they take their foot off the gas and suffer an upset to associate ICC member Afghanistan, which could drop the Windies to the second position, forcing them to take on red-hot New Zealand.
Afghanistan, though winless, have steadily improved throughout the Super 10 after winning all three of their qualifying round matches. The Afghans gave England a scare on Wednesday, ultimately coming up 15 runs short and England needed a 25-run 19th over to build a winning total.
Watch highlights of the Afghanistan vs. England match in the video below.
And watch the highlights from the West Indies vs. South Africa thriller in the following video.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Afghanistan vs. West Indies T20 World Cup Super 10 final Group One match, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. First ball of the afternoon match is scheduled for 3 p.m. India Standard Time at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, India, in Sunday, March 27.
Fans in the United States should set their alarms, with the live stream getting underway at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2:30 a.m. Pacific.
West Indies, the dominant cricket team in the world for much of the 1970s and 1980s, and winners of the first two ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments in 1975 and 1979, have fallen on lean times over the past couple of decades, wracked by financial shortfalls and internal political conflicts.
But the Windies have shown at least some flashes of promise recently, winning the 2012 T20 Cricket World Cup — and showing great future promise when the West Indies Under 19 team won the U19 World Cup earlier this year. Now, West Indies are poised to go undefeated in and win another T20 World Cup.
— Peters. (@trinity2775) March 27, 2016
While Afghanistan Captain Asghar Stanikzai says that his team plans to rely on a bowling attack heavy with four spinners to throw the free-swinging West Indies batsmen off their stroke on the slow surface in Nagpur, West Indies Coach Phil Simmons pledges that his team, despite having already clinched a knockout stage berth, remain on guard against an upset.
“They’ve bowled well, they’ve batted well in all the games they’ve played,” Simmons said on Saturday. “I know them from before so I know they’re going to come to try and win, so we’ve got to play properly.”
Simmons faced Afghanistan during his tenure as coach of the Ireland cricket team. But Sunday’s match will mark the first time West Indies have ever faced the Afghanistan team.
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Star Sports will carry a live stream of the “dead rubber” match at this link. But the most reliable way to watch the Afghanistan vs. West Indies T20 Cricket World Cup Super 10 final match for both teams, via live stream in the United States, is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link. Fans can also use The Willow app for mobile devices or on Willow TV’s own site, accessible by clicking here with a monthly subscription fee.
There are legal ways to watch Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including Sunday’s Afghanistan vs. West Indies T20 Cricket World Cup Super 10 final match, such as the offer at this link. The best bet would be the one-month free trial of Sling TV’s International Sports Package, which includes Willow. Information on that deal can be found at this link. The India-based site CricHD will also carry a stream at this link.
[Featured Photo By Saurabh Das/Associated Press]