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T20 WC: Kagiso Rabada Takes Three Wickets As SA Beat USA By 18 Runs

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Antigua: Pacer Kagiso Rabada’s final over prevented a masterful knock by Andries Gous from outpowering an experienced South Africa, as Proteas defeated a valiant USA by 18 runs in their ICC T20 World Cup game at Antigua on Wednesday.

Chasing 195 runs, USA were off to a fine start as openers Steven Taylor and Andries Gous played some aggressive shots against spinner Aiden Markram and pacer Marco Jansen, with Taylor taking bowlers to the cleaners with some big hits.

Pacer Kagiso Rabada broke their promising partnership at 33, getting Taylor caught behind by Heinrich Klaasen for 24 (two fours, two sixes) in the fourth over. Rabada’s experience came in handy again as yet another promising partnership was cut short with Tristan Stubbs taking a catch at deep square leg to remove Nitish for just eight runs. The USA was 53/2 in 5.3 overs.

Despite some attempts to counter-attack by an experienced Corey Anderson, Anrich Nortje smashed his furniture, dismissing him for just 12 runs in 12 deliveries. At the end of 10 overs, USA were 73/4, with Shayan Jahangir (1*) and Gous (23*) unbeaten.

Proteas spinners Tabraiz Shamsi trapped Jahangir leg-before-wicket for just three. The USA seemed falling apart at 76/5 in 11.1 overs. Gous and Harmeet were not the ones to give up as Harmeet launched Shamsi for two classy fours and Maharaj for a huge six over long-on.

USA reached the 100-run mark in 13.1 overs, still pretty much in the game. Gous also launched a counterattack against a threatening Nortje, smashing him for two sixes and a four in the 15th over. He reached his fifty in 33 balls, with three fours and three sixes. In the last five overs, USA needed 73 runs, which was not entirely impossible with two set batters at the crease.

Harmeet continued to attack spinners while Gous took on Rabada. The South African pacer also delivered a few extras, adding to Proteas’ troubles. The duo reached their fifty-run stand in just 24 balls.

USA were left with 50 runs to get in the final three overs. They reached the 150-run mark in 17.3 overs with Harmeet’s massive six over long-on against Shamsi. Shamsi’s 18th over was a disastrous one for Proteas, as two sixes by Gous, a maximum by Harmeet and some extras meant that USA was left to get just 28 runs in the final two overs.

Rabada came in clutch next over, removing a dangerous Harmeet for 38 in 22 balls, with two fours and three sixes. USA was 167/6 in 18.1 overs. Stubbs took a fine catch near deep midwicket.

USA was left with 26 runs to get in the final over, with Rabada’s over giving away just two runs.USA ended their valiant run-chase at 176/6, with Gous (80* in 47 balls, with five fours and five sixes) and Jasdeep Singh (2*) unbeaten.

Earlier, wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock’s 74-run knock helped South Africa put up 194/4 against the United States in the first Super Eight match of the T20 World Cup 2024 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

United States Playing 11: Shayan Jahangir, Steven Taylor, Andries Gous (wk), Aaron Jones (c), Nitish Kumar, Corey Anderson, Harmeet Singh, Jasdeep Singh, Nosthush Kenjige, Ali Khan, Saurabh Netravalkar

South Africa Playing 11: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi

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