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Focus on South African batters in Super 8 clash against USA

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North Sound (Antigua), Jun 18 (PTI) South Africa will have no room for error as their world-class batters will be keen to flex their muscles against a spirited USA in their opening Super Eight match of the T20 World Cup here on Wednesday.

The Proteas have remained unbeaten in the tournament so far with their bowlers doing the heavy lifting in all four games.

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Playing three games on the challenging New York tracks, and one in Kingstown, South Africa have not crossed the 120-run mark even once.

Although their batting performance is not a reflection of the team which possesses some big hitters like Quinton de Kock, Henriech Klassen, Tristan Stubbs and David Miller.

But still the top order of De Kock, Reeze Hendricks and captain Aiden Markram might feel the pressure to perform.

South Africa survived by a run against Nepal in their previous game and with the likes of defending champions England and hosts West Indies also in Group 2, the Proteas can ill afford to let up against USA. They would like to start the Super Eight on a winning note.

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Ahead of the World Cup, South Africa’s biggest concern was the woeful form of Anrich Nortje, but the star pacer has turned it around with some scintillating display in the group stage and is currently the joint second leading wicket-taker with nine scalps.

Nortje and fellow pacer Ottneil Baartman, have formed a formidable pair, while Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada will also be eager to trouble the inexperienced USA batters.

Co-host USA, who are an eclectic mix of eight Indians, two Pakistanis, a West Indian, one New Zealander, a South African and a Dutch,  are in the midst of a dream run having qualified for the Super Eights in their debut appearance.

They have played an aggressive brand of cricket.

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They will be keeping an eye on the fitness of skipper Monank Patel, who missed the match against India and was also not going to play against Ireland due to a niggle.

They will be keen to cause another upset after defeating former champions Pakistan in the league stage. While it may be a daunting task, the spirited bunch are ready for the challenge,

“Definitely looking forward to the challenge (of Super Eight) for sure. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve shown that obviously we could definitely compete and beat some of the full member nations,” USA vice-captain Aaron Jones had said last week.

Teams (From):

South Africa: Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel 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.

USA: Monank Patel (c), Aaron Jones, Andries Gous, Corey Anderson, Ali Khan, Harmeet Singh, Jessy Singh, Milind Kumar, Nisarg Patel, Nitish Kumar, Noshtush Kenjige, Saurabh Nethralvakar, Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Steven Taylor, Shayan Jahangir. Reserve Players: Gajanand Singh, Juanoy Drysdale, Yasir Mohammad.

Match starts at 8 PM IST.

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