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Preview: T20 World Cup: United States vs. South Africa - prediction, team news, series so far

Sports Mole previews the 2024 T20 World Cup match between the United States and South Africa, scheduled to be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Wednesday.

The T20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight stage gets underway on Wednesday afternoon with co-hosts United States taking on South Africa at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

During the Super Eight stage, the eight qualifying teams are split into two pools of four and will battle in a round-robin format, with the top two sides progressing to the semi-final.

Match preview

Match Group A .INDIA v USA .at Nassu County International Cricket Stadium on June 5, 2024© Imago

The United States qualified for the tournament as co-hosts with the West Indies, but they have made full use of their home advantage, creating an incredible first impression in their first-ever major cricket tournament.

They made the perfect start to the competition, beating neighbours Canada before pulling off the upset of the tournament, beating former champions Pakistan in a gripping super over by five runs in game two.

A defeat to India followed in game three before the rain in Florida washed out their final group match against Ireland at Broward County Stadium on Friday, giving them the point needed to edge the Shaheens to the second round.

Additionally, the USA's progression to the Super Eight of this competition also sees them qualify for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in 2026, which will be hosted in the sub-continent by India and Sri Lanka.

While the side will be brimming with confidence, they will now be playing their first away game of the tournament, and the fact they have never won a game outside of US soil will undoubtedly be playing on their mind.

 South Africa's David Miller celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Netherlands' Bas de Leede on June 5, 2024© Reuters

Meanwhile, South Africa came through the group stage as one of the teams that had to battle the now-infamous Nassau County pitch where they played three games, including a particularly tricky one against Bangladesh.

The Proteas were one of only three teams that played and won all four of their group-stage matches, though their perfect record was in serious jeopardy last week when they just about staved off an almighty upset by Nepal, who came up just one run short to victory in Kingstown.

Still, most from a South African persuasion would likely agree that while the side did maintain an unbeaten record in the group, there is massive room for improvement, particularly in the performances of their top-order, who have largely failed to give the side a proper platform to work with.

The Protea's bowling attack, though, has looked good, with the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen maintaining economical figures, while Anrich Nortje is the second-highest wicket-taker in the competition with nine scalps in 16 overs so far.

South Africa need to make quick adjustments to a better batting surface here in the Caribbean, and if their top order is able to re-find its form, they should be too strong for the US in this one.

Team News

South Africa's David Miller in action on June 5, 2024© Reuters

The US were without the services of captain Monank Patel for their match against India due to an injury, but he has reportedly recovered fully and is expected to return to the starting lineup for this match.

Patel will also benefit from having the likes of South African-born players Andries Gous and Shadley van Schalkwyk in his side - both of whom have vast experience in the domestic game in their homeland.

South Africa, on the other hand, will have to be mindful of managing their player's workload if they are to progress in the competition, but could be tempted to go with two spinners for this match, with the pitch in Antigua expected to favour slower bowling.

While the top order has failed to impress so far, the Proteas middle-order, particularly Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller have been rock solid, with the latter currently being the leading run-scorer in this World Cup for the team, and the only one who has registered a half-century.

United States squad: Monank Patel (c), Aaron Jones, Andries Gous, Corey Anderson, Ali Khan, Harmeet Singh, Jessy Singh, Milind Kumar, Nisarg Patel, Nitish Kumar, Noshtush Kenjige, Saurabh Netravalkar, Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Steven Taylor, Shayan Jahangir

South Africa squad: Aiden Markram (c), Ottneil Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs

Series so far

United States

Match One: USA won by 7 wickets
Canada - 194/5 (20)
USA - 197/3 (17.4)

Match Two: USA won the super over by 5 runs
Pakistan - 159/7 & 13/1
USA - 159/3 & 18/1

Match Three: USA lost by 7 wickets
USA - 110/8 (20)
India - 111/3 (18.2)

Match Four: No Result

South Africa

Match One: South Africa won by 6 wickets
Sri Lanka 77 (19.1)
South Africa - 80/4 (16.2)

Match Two: South Africa won by 4 wickets
Netherlands - 103/9 (20)
South Africa - 106/6 (18.5)

Match Three: South Africa won by 4 runs
South Africa - 113/6 (20)
Bangladesh - 109/7 (20)

Match Four: South Africa won by 1 run
South Africa - 115/7 (20)
Nepal - 114/7 (20)

SM words green background

We say: South Africa to win

The US have been a joy to watch in this competition, but they showed against India that they are still some way from being able to go toe-to-toe with the elite cricketing nations in the world. Therefore, while South Africa have not been at their best, we feel they will be too good for the co-hosts in this one.

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England celebrate taking a wicket against Pakistan on May 25, 2024.
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