USA vs SA | Explosive Proteas hold off valiant States to begin Super 8s on winning note in Antigua

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South Africa were made to work hard by the USA for a 18-run triumph at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Wednesday. Explosive knocks from Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, and Heinrich Klaasen helped set a target of 195 before Kagiso Rabada's brilliant 3/18 left their opponents agonizingly short.

Brief score: SA 194/4 (20) [de Kock 74(40), Markram 46(32); Netravalkar 2/21(4)] beat USA 176/6 (20) [Gous 80*(47), Harmeet 38(22); Rabada 3/18(4)] by 18 runs

An excellent new-ball spell from Sourabh Netravalkar ensured South Africa did not race off the blocks and culminated in Reeza Hendricks' scalp for a run-a-ball 11 in the third over of the game. However, all of USA's good work was quickly undone by Quinton de Kock teeing off with three huge maximums to reap 28 runs off the fourth over. Aiden Markram did not need a second invitation to join in the carnage and the score already read a daunting 64/1 by the end of the powerplay. de Kock soon after brought up a 26-ball half-century while the partnership rocketed past the 100-run mark. Harmeet Singh finally broke the stand by having de Kock caught on the edge of the boundary in the 13th over and pegged USA back into the contest by dispatching David Miller for a golden duck, with the score reading 127/3. Netravalkar dealt further damage by stranding Markram four short of a half-century just before the death but Heinrich Klaasen's explosive unbeaten 22-ball 36 ensured the Proteas notched up a mammoth total of 194/4.

In response, Steven Taylor's rapid 14-ball cameo of 24 got USA off to the desired start but Kagiso Rabada struck twice in the powerplay to restrict the score to 53/2. Keshav Maharaj added a third to the Proteas' tally by nicking off skipper Aaron Jones for a duck as soon as the fielding restrictions ended, Anrich Nortje sounded Corey Anderson the death rattle at the halfway mark, and Tabraiz Shamsi trapped Shayan Jahangir with his first delivery to leave the USA reeling at 76/5 after 11.1 overs. However, opener Andries Gous refused to back down, bringing up his fifty off 33 balls in a 19-run Nortje over, and Harmeet Singh matched the aggressive tempo to whittle the equation down to 60 off the final four overs. Three maximums off Shamsi further left just 28 to get from the remaining 12 deliveries but Rabada spoiled the party with a sensational penultimate over, conceding just two runs and scalping Harmeet, before Nortje closed out a 18-run triumph.

Good effort from the team!

USA almost made it!

Brilliant team effort!

Very close!

What a player he is!

Yeah!

Gous is built different!

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