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T20 World Cup 2024 | South Africa clinch 18-run win over spirited USA in T20 World Cup Super Eight clash

South Africa-born Gous led a stunning fightback for USA with a 47-ball 80 not out studded with five sixes and as many fours to keep his side alive in the contest right until the final over, but the Proteas had the final laugh as they opened their account with two points in kitty.
Last Updated : 19 June 2024, 18:56 IST

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North Sound (Antigua): Resilient Andries Gous led a sensational fightback for USA but South Africa's experienced professionals pulled off an 18-run victory in their Group 2 Super Eight match of the T20 World Cup, here on Wednesday.

South Africa-born Gous led a stunning fightback for USA with a 47-ball 80 not out studded with five sixes and as many fours to keep his side alive in the contest right until the final over, but the Proteas had the final laugh as they opened their account with two points in kitty.

Chasing 195 even on a batting-friendly deck here at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium was going to be a monumental task for USA against South Africa’s bowling attack, but the Associate nation showed incredible gumption in finishing with 176 for six in reply.

The South African-born Gous waged a lone battle of sorts for the majority of USA’s reply, putting on an incredible 91-run stand for the sixth wicket with Harmeet Singh (38, 22 balls, 2x4s, 3x6s)m, but South Africa had just too many on the board.

Even though Steven Taylor (24 off 14 balls, 4x4s, 1x6s) set the tone early for the USA at the top, others like Nitish Kumar (8), skipper Aaron Jones (0), Corey Anderson (12) and Shayan Jahangir (3) flopped with the bat which almost shut the doors on their side.

Reduced to 76/5 in the 12th over with another 119 runs to win, USA appeared down and out.

But Gous, who has played U-19s for South Africa, and colts World Cup winner Harmeet went on a carnage of sorts to take their side as close as possible. He swung his bat at will and found gaps with precision as South African bowlers, who had almost set up a comfortable win, were scurrying for cover.

In tow, the left-handed Harmeet also dealt a few lusty blows, especially against Tabraiz Shamsi towards the end to keep USA in the hunt even if the asking rate hovered around 15 runs per over.

But at the end, it was Kagiso Rabada’s (4-0-18-3) brilliance which ensured Proteas’ win after he broke their stubborn partnership and allowed a mere two runs in the penultimate over.

USA’s resistance also ate into a significant chunk of South Africa’s margin of win which would have been far bigger had the two not added 91 for the sixth wicket.

Earlier, Quinton de Kock led the charge with a 40-ball 74 which set the tone for South Africa, whose top order finally came through with a robust show to power them to 194 for four in the first half.

On a pitch expected to be slow and spin-friendly, De Kock defied odds to put the USA bowlers to sword while bringing up his maiden fifty in the tournament, while South Africa put on 194 for four in 20 overs.

De Kock’s fireworks at the top and skipper Aiden Markram’s fluent 46 also helped South Africa banish their top-order woes after the frontline batters had flopped collectively in the group stage.

Towards the end, Heinrich Klaasen (36 not out) and Tristan Stubbs (20 not out) added 53 runs unbeaten for the fifth wicket in just five overs.

De Kock led South Africa’s charge following a meek start which saw Reeza Hendricks (11) being Saurabh Netravalkar’s (2/21) latest victim in the powerplay, putting on 110 runs from a mere 60 balls for the second wicket with Markram.

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Published 19 June 2024, 18:56 IST

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