USA vs South Africa: Andries Gous’s unbeaten 80 in vain as co-hosts beaten in first Super 8s game | Cricket News

South Africa held off a late threat from co-hosts USA as they completed a nervy 18-run victory at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua to kick off the Super 8s stage of the Men’s T20 World Cup.

Chasing 195 for victory, USA’s Andries Gous (73) made a spectacular 33-ball fifty to give his side hope of pulling off another famous victory, smashing three sixes in the 18th over to slash their required total to 28 from 12 balls.

However, the South African-born Gous was unable to get his side over the line after some tight bowling from Kagiso Rabada (3-18) and Anrich Nortje (1-37) at the death held them to 176-6.

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada (L) celebrates the dismissal of USA's Harmeet Singh
South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada (L) celebrates the dismissal of USA’s Harmeet Singh

Earlier, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock (74) smashed seven boundaries and five sixes during his outing, hitting his highest score of the tournament as he shared a terrific second-wicket partnership worth 110 runs alongside his captain Aiden Markram (46).

Heinrich Klaasen (36no) and Tristan Stubbs (20no) shared an unbeaten 53-run partnership to trouble the co-hosts even further and help South Africa post 194-4.

USA’s left-arm bowler Saurabh Netravalkar (2-21), who bowled the famous Super Over during their historic victory against Pakistan, and spinner Harmeet Singh (2-24) both picked up two wickets apiece but were unable to fully eliminate the threat of South Africa’s big hitters.

The victory means South Africa move to the top of Group 2 with two points with USA behind in second place.

USA showcase underdog brilliance

Gous shared a brilliant sixth-wicket partnership with Harmeet Singh worth 91 runs as the USA punished South Africa’s bowlers and pulled their side from a worrying 76-5 to a commendable 176-6.

The co-hosts showed clear intent to chase down South Africa’s total when opener Steven Taylor (24) dispatched the first ball of the innings past backward point for four.

Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada removed Taylor with a back-of-a-length delivery that was caught at mid-off by Klaasen, before he struck again in his following over to dismiss Nitish Kumar (8) and leave USA 53-2 by the end of the powerplay.

USA stand-in captain Aaron Jones was removed for a duck after he edged behind to De Kock, while Anrich Nortje crushed Corey Anderson’s (12) leg stump with a brillant fuller ball.

Tabraiz Shamsi (1-50) made an immediate impact by trapping Shayan Jahangir (3) lbw to leave USA on 76-5 but brave and bold batting from Gous saw the co-hosts edge close to the victory line.

Gous smashed five boundaries and the same amount of sixes as he dragged his side to 167 but the wicket of Harmeet Singh (38), who worked a full toss from Rabada to mid-wicket where he was caught, stunted USA’s flow.

Needing 26 runs from the final over, a win was still possible but after Gous and Jasdeep only managed two singles and Nortje bowled a dot ball, victory was all but South Africa’s.

Catch every match from the T20 World Cup, including the final in Barbados on Saturday June 29, live on Sky Sports.

What’s next?

South Africa head to Saint Lucia for their clash against defending champions England on Friday 21 June (3.30pm UK and Ireland), while USA go to Barbados for their meeting against co-hosts West Indies on Saturday 22 June (1.30pm UK and Ireland).

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