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Andries Gous 80* goes in vain as South Africa edge past USA

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NORTH SOUND: Andries Gous’ unbeaten 80-run knock failed to trump Quinton de Kock’s blistering 74 as South Africa beat the United States of America (USA) by 18 runs in the 41st matches of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

Chasing a daunting 195-run target, USA could only amass 176/6 despite a gutsy knock by Gous.

The USA had a decent start to the pursuit as Gous led the charge in the batting powerplay while Kagiso Rabada bagged two wickets  — Steven Taylor (24) and Nitish Kumar (8) — for South Africa.

The associate nation then sustained another blow to their run chase as their captain Aaron Jones (0) perished in the next over.

Gous then put together brief partnerships with Corey Anderson (12) and Shayan Jahangir (3) before being joined by Harmeet Singh in the 12th over with the scoreboard reading 76/5.

Gous and Singh stitched a brilliant 91-run partnership for the sixth wicket which lasted with the latter’s dismissal on the first delivery of the penultimate over when USA needed a further 28 runs.

Singh remained a notable contributor for the USA with a 22-ball 38, which included two fours and three sixes.

The timely breakthrough fuelled South Africa with momentum and Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, bowling the last two overs respectively, displayed nerves of steel to steer their side to an important victory.

Andries Gous remained unbeaten on 80. His 47-ball knock featured five fours and as many sixes.

Kagiso Rabada led the bowling charge for South Africa with three wickets while Keshav Maharaj, Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi chipped in a wicket apiece.

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Sent into bat first, South Africa registered a formidable total on the board, courtesy of a marathon second-wicket partnership between de Kock and Markram.

The Proteas, however, got off to a contrasting start to their innings as their opener Reeza Hendricks perished in the third over with just 16 runs on the board. He made a run-a-ball 11 with the help of a six.

The early blow did not trouble South Africa much as Quinton de Kock smashed 28 runs off Jasdeep Singh in the fourth over.

The eventful over gave South Africa an upper hand and de Kock and Markram then took calculated risks to keep the momentum in their favour.

The duo had added 110 runs for the second wicket before Harmeet Singh provided a much-needed breakthrough to the USA by dismissing de Kock in the 13th over.

The left-handed batter remained the top-scorer for South Africa with a swashbuckling 74 off just 40 deliveries, peppered with seven fours and five sixes.

Harmeet struck again for the USA on the next delivery to send David Miller packing for a golden duck as South Africa slipped to 126/3 in 12.3 overs.

Markam then put together a brief partnership for the fourth wicket with Heinrich Klaasen before finally perishing in the 15th over.

He smashed four fours and a six on his way to a 32-ball 46.

Following Markram’s dismissal, Klaasen and Tristian Stubbs knitted a crucial partnership and added valuable runs for South Africa at the backend.

The pair added 53 runs amid their unbeaten stand, conceding only 30 deliveries.

Klaasen scored an unbeaten 36 off 22 balls, featuring three sixes while Stubbs remained not out with a 16-ball 20.

For the USA, Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh bagged two wickets each.

It is pertinent to mention that South Africa and the USA are placed in Group 2 of the Super Eight stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

READ: Former India cricketer says Babar Azam does not fit in Pakistan’s T20 team

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