South Africa work hard to beat USA in Super Eight at T20 World Cup

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South Africa’s captain Aiden Markram, left, fist bumps with batting partner Quinton de Kock during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup cricket match against United States at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan).

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NORTH SOUND, Antigua (AP) — South Africa had to work hard to earn an 18-run win over the fast-improving United States in the opening game of the Super Eight at the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday.

Andries Gous made an unbeaten 80 off 47 balls for the U.S. — against country of his birth — to move atop the batting chart at the World Cup before South Africa restricted the Americans at 176-6.

Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada claimed 3-18 and spinner Keshav Maharaj got the prized wicket of U.S. captain Aaron Jones for a duck — no runs — to finish with 1-24.

Quinton de Kock had earlier made a rampant 74 off 40 balls and Heinrich Klaasen provided the perfect finish with 36 not out in the South African total of 194-4 after Jones won the toss and elected to field.

Co-host West Indies and England are the other teams in Super Eights Group 2 and will meet in St Lucia later Wednesday.

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