South Africa will search for the "perfect game," in what is effectively a semi-final against West Indies in the last round-robin game of the Caribbean triangular series. The fixture is a winner-takes-all affair, with the victor progressing to play Australia in Sunday's final.

"If you look back at the games we've played so far, we've been reasonably good in one area. We haven't completed a game where we've done well with bat and ball. So we're searching for that perfect game," JP Duminy said, despite South Africa's massive 139-run win over West Indies in their last completed match.

After that game, South Africa sat atop the table with two bonus-point wins. A victory over Australia last Sunday would have secured their place in the final but rain allowed only one over to be bowled. Now, South Africa find themselves in the kind of knockout situation they are trying to get the better of before their next major tournament.

"The mood is relaxed, which is a good mood for us to be in because we know we're going to have to put in that big performance. That it's a crunch game, a semi-final, will bring a little more pressure to it. That's a reason for us to emphasise our basics more," Duminy said.

Already, the pressure is on from back home. Apart from the axe hanging over Russell Domingo's head - with 10 months left on his contract - there is also expectation that the players will step up after they ended last season in underwhelming fashion. Although the next fifty-over trophy is next year's Champions Trophy, it is important for South African to show that they are improving by racking up wins.

"This tournament for them should just be about making the final and then producing a decent performance on the day, that's what a triangular is about," Shaun Pollock, former South Africa captain told The Star at the CSA Centre of Excellence, where he was working with the National Academy. "They look like they are heading in the right direction."

South Africa are the only team to have posted a score over 300 in this tournament, which should bode well for what Duminy expects to be a battle of the batsmen. After slower surfaces in Guyana and St Kitts, Barbardos has seen more runs. In the only completed match at the Kensington Oval, West Indies set Australia a target of 283, which was successfully chased.

"West Indies have batted really well and this venue leans towards a good batting wicket. So it's probably going to come down to who bats better on this surface," Duminy said. "The first 15 to 20 overs are going to be crucial - setting the platform leading into the game. Especially in these kind of games, where there is extra pressure, it's important to set a good platform."

But with Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock in decent form, South Africa's focus could be trained on the middle order, where there is significant responsibility on AB de Villiers, who is yet to have an impact on this series, Duminy, Farhaan Behardien and Chris Morris to finish strongly.

If the middle order fires, it could amount to a perfect batting performance, but South Africa will have to still find a way past Marlon Samuels, who leads the tournament's run-charts. With the series' top-wicket-taker, Imran Tahir in their ranks, South Africa will be confident they can. Samuels has been dismissed by Tahir once in the series and by spin three times out of five. If the slower bowlers are unsuccessful, the additional pace and bounce at Kensington Oval should provide assistance to the seamers. Morne Morkel is expected to be included in the South Africa XI to take advantage of those conditions.

In theory, South Africa should be favourites but West Indies have already beaten both opponents in this tournament and are mounting a resurrection of their own. Add to that South Africa's nerves in knockout situations and it sets the stage for a tense affair, which will mean more to South Africa than meets the eye.