On Wednesday, June 19, the USA pushed South Africa to their limit in the Super 8 Group 2 match in the T20 World Cup 2024, but they ended up losing by 18 runs. With this tough defeat, the USA are now a step behind in the race to make the semifinals of the tournament, but they are definitely not out of it.

At the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua, the USA captain, Aaron Jones, won the toss and put the South Africans into batting first. After losing the early wicket of Reeza Hendricks, the captain Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock stitched a match-defining partnership of 110 runs for the second wicket.

Following the dismissal of Quinton de Kock for 74 off 40 with seven fours and five maximums, the likes of Heinrich Klaasen and Tristan Stubbs provided the finishing touches to the South African innings, ending up at 194/4 in their allotted overs. In the run chase, Steven Taylor got off to a flyer for the USA, but after his dismissal, they lost a flurry of wickets, getting reduced to 76/5 in the 12th over.

Harmeet Singh joined the opener Andries Gous in the middle and they put together a 91-run stand for the sixth wicket, to put the USA within touching distance of the target. The key dismissal of Harmeet Singh off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada led to the run chase fizzling out despite Andries Gous batting throughout the innings for 80 off 47 with five fours and five maximums.

After England’s comfortable win in the other match in the Super 8 Group 2 against West Indies, the USA found themselves in third place on the standings with an NRR of (-0.900). With that, it is vital for the USA to defeat England and West Indies in their next two matches of the Super 8 stage, to give themselves the best chance to make the semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2024.

If the other results in the Super 8 Group 2 also fall in their favour, then the USA will be able to reach the next stage of the tournament. All in all, the Aaron Jones-led team has to improve on the performance from their first game of the Super 8 stage, and it could prove to be enough for them to create more history in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 in the Caribbean.