Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Unbeaten South Africa in front as USA hope for more magic

Fleming on USA: 'A generation of young players will be inspired' (1:39)

Stephen Fleming on where USA can go in this World Cup from here, and where the game can still go in America (1:39)

Match details

USA vs South Africa
Super Eight, North Sound, June 19, 10.30am local time

Big picture - Can USA slay another giant?

It's Super Eight time.

Before the start of the T20 World Cup 2024, the ICC had allotted pre-decided seedings to the eight top teams. A2 was given to Pakistan. The match timings were set according to what would be prime time in Pakistan and the rest of the subcontinent. But then a USA-sized blow hit Pakistan in their very first match and the tournament hasn't been the same since.

So USA, in their first T20 World Cup appearance, are now A2, and will kickstart the Super Eight stage against South Africa. As both teams head over to North Sound in Antigua - USA aren't quite at home anymore, note - they would hope for two things: better batting conditions and no rain.

South Africa are entering the Super Eight stage with an all-win record. But after their win over Sri Lanka in the first game, the rest could have gone either way. They found themselves at 12 for 4 chasing 104 against Netherlands, only scored 113 for 6 and won by four runs against Bangladesh, and scraped through by a solitary run against Nepal.

South Africa have lost 11 wickets and are averaging a mere 9.63 in the powerplay this World Cup - the third-lowest behind Uganda and Papua New Guinea. And none of their top-order batters have a strike rate of 100 in the first six overs.

Having said that, South Africa played three of their four games in New York, where batting conditions were far from ideal. And in hopefully better conditions in North Sound, they will hope the top order can finally flex their muscles.

USA, in foreign shores after playing 12 straight home games (of which two were abandoned), will hope for the fairy tale to continue. They showed their batting muscle in the opening game against Canada, and then restricted Pakistan to a middling total in the second game. Even against India, they had the opposition top order in a bit of early strife.

The likes of Aaron Jones, Saurabh Netravalkar and Monank Patel have shown they belong to this level of cricket. Now for them to give it another tilt and try to take another Full Member down.

Form guide

USA LWWLW (last five matches, most recent first)
South AfricaWWWWL

In the spotlight - Saurabh Netravalkar and Anrich Nortje

Left-arm quick Saurabh Netravalkar has been a star for USA in the powerplay, where he's picked up three wickets and gone at an economy of 4.57. He's found swing and shape consistently and even accounted for the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma already. Coder by day, fast bowler by night, he has had to extend his leave at his day job by a few more weeks and will want to make it count against a South Africa top order that is struggling for form.

Anrich Nortje had a forgettable IPL 2024, where he picked up just seven wickets in six games and went at 13.36. But, he's hit his straps from the get-go at the T20 World Cup. He's bowled with pace, he's been accurate, and, more importantly, has picked up wickets. After four games, Nortje is the joint-second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with nine wickets, and has bowled at an economy of just 4.37. His bustling pace might be useful against the USA batters who might not have faced such high speeds too often.

Can South Africa find space for both Shamsi and Maharaj?

Stephen Fleming on working out the best bowling line-up for the conditions

Team news - Shamsi or Maharaj, or both?

USA's last group game in Lauderhill was abandoned without a ball bowled. Before that, they played India, where Monank Patel, their regular captain, missed out because of a shoulder injury. He is likely to come back into the team replacing Shayan Jahangir at the top. Depending on the conditions, there is also a chance USA could slot in left-arm spinner Nosthush Kenjige in place of fast bowler Shadley van Schalkwyk.

USA (probable): 1 Steven Taylor, 2 Monank Patel (capt), 3 Andries Gous (wk), 4 Nitish Kumar, 5 Aaron Jones, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Harmeet Singh, 8 Shadley van Schalkwyk/Nosthush Kenjige, 9 Jasdeep Singh, 10 Saurabh Netravalkar, 11 Ali Khan

South Africa brought in Tabraiz Shamsi for Keshav Maharaj in their last group game, and that could be the only selection they spend time on for this game. While Shamsi got four wickets against Nepal, Maharaj has performed consistently.

South Africa (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Aiden Markram (capt), 4 Tristan Stubbs, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 David Miller, 7 Marco Jansen, 8 Tabraiz Shamsi/Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Ottneil Baartman, 11 Anrich Nortje

Pitch and conditions

It is expected to be an overcast morning in North Sound, but there is no rain forecast in the area on Wednesday. The teams batting second have won three out of four games here, with the surface good for batting. At the World Cup, Australia and England blew Namibia and Oman away respectively, but Oman hit up 150 against Scotland, which was chased down in 13.1 overs, and the rain-hit England vs Namibia game had 206 runs in 20 overs.

Stats that matter

  • Nortje has picked up eight wickets in the middle phase, the second-highest after Adam Zampa's nine

  • USA have the highest run rate against spin of all the teams in the tournament - 11.04; Jones has been striking at 263.33 against spinners in the World Cup 2024 (80 off 30 balls)

  • South Africa have the second-best death-overs economy in this tournament - 5.27

  • This will be the first T20I between the two sides


"Still striving for that close to perfect game. I thought our bowlers so far throughout the comp have been really good for us and potentially bailed us out of jail once or twice. But it's understandably so. Conditions have been quite tough for us with the bat. It's a fresh start for us. Specifically, if you speak as a batting group, we get the chance to get to new conditions, hopefully slightly more batting friendly for us, and a good time for us to start peaking and finding some form moving forward in the competition."
South Africa captain Aiden Markram hopes for better batting conditions in West Indies

"Myself, and Steven [Taylor], we have a lot of support in the Caribbean So we'll definitely have some support tomorrow for sure as it relates to the whole team. I think a few people from USA actually flew to the Caribbean to support us. So, it's really good but that's no face for us. We just want to play hard cricket regardless of the situation."
Aaron Jones is expecting good support for USA in Antigua

U.S.A. 2nd innings Partnerships

1st33SR TaylorAGS Gous
2nd20NR KumarAGS Gous
3rd3AGS GousAaron Jones
4th15CJ AndersonAGS Gous
5th5AGS GousShayan Jahangir
6th91Harmeet SinghAGS Gous
7th9AGS GousJasdeep Singh

ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Super Eights, Group 1
Super Eights, Group 2
Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D