T20 Cricket World Cup 2024: USA falls to South Africa in first Super 8 matchup despite late surge

Team USA's Andries Gous batted 80 runs but could not catch up to South Africa in the team's first game of the Super 8 knockout round

ANTIGUA, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA - JUNE 19: Andries Gous USA bats during the ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024 Super Eight match between USA and South Africa at  Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on June 19, 2024 in Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda. (Photo by Jan Kruger-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

The U.S. was defeated by South Africa in its first game of the Super 8 round at the T20 World Cup on Wednesday. The final score – South Africa 194/4, USA 176/6 — came despite a late surge and heroics from USA's Andries Gous.

South Africa batted first, setting the bar with 194 runs in 20 overs. Quinton de Kock scored 74 runs in 40 balls to give South Africa a strong advantage heading into the USA's batting time.

The U.S. struggled to keep with South Africa's pace. Several key early outs — including captain Aaron Jones, who was out after just five balls and before hitting a run — also slowed the U.S. down.

A late surge from Gous and Harmeet Singh pushed the U.S.' chances, but the Americans lost momentum after Singh was caught out. Singh batted 38 runs in 22 balls before going out, while Gous batted a game-high 80 runs in 47 balls to keep the U.S. in contention until the very end.

The U.S. advanced out of the group stage largely due to a massive upset over Pakistan early in the tournament. Although the team lost to group leader India, a severe rainstorm in southern Florida led to the U.S.' final game against Ireland to be abandoned and gave Team USA the final point needed to advance to the next round.

As part of making the Super 8, Team USA will receive an autobid for the next Cricket World Cup — a big deal given that the U.S. only received a bid for this tournament as a result of co-hosting.

The U.S. will play two more games in the Super 8 round, with a matchup against co-host the West Indies on Friday and a big game against England on Sunday. Both games will take place at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.