T20WC: England eye massive win over USA to stay alive in semifinal race

PTI, Jun 22, 2024, 5:11 PM IST

Credit: X / @ICC

Bridgetown: Defending champions England will need their power hitters to do the job against a demoralised yet tricky USA in their final Super 8 match as they eye a huge win to keep themselves in contention for a semifinal spot at the T20 World Cup here on Sunday.

England batters couldn’t produce the big hits while chasing a target of 164 during their last Super 8 match against South Africa, suffering a narrow seven-run loss on Friday.

West Indies’ massive nine-wicket win over the USA has opened up the group, leaving England with the task of notching up a big victory to push their net run-rate up as it might come down to it in the end.

While South Africa are currently sitting atop the Group 2 with two wins, both West Indies and England have a win and a loss each with the former having a better NRR than the latter.

However, no team is assured of a semifinal berth and England will need to defeat USA by either 10 runs or at least an over to spare to stay in contention for the semifinals.

For SA, a loss — even in a Super Over — against WI in their final match will knock them out of the race if England can achieve their task.

If SA win and England lose to USA, it will again be a three-way tie between WI, ENG and USA for the second spot and the team with better run-rate will go through to the knockout stage.

England batters produced an authoritative performance against the West Indies but they failed to tame the SA bowlers and faltered in their chase of 164 on Friday.

Phil Salt has been in great form, having blasted two centuries, a fifty, and three thirties in his last 10 T20Is but his early dismissal meant England couldn’t get the explosive start as Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow couldn’t quite bring out the big shots.

Harry Brook (53) and Liam Livingstone (33) played sensibly to take the chase deep but England eventually failed to score 25 runs in the last three overs.

However, despite the loss, England’s batting remains a formidable force which the likes of Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh will find tough to tame.

In the bowling unit, Adil Rashid and Jofra Archer have been their standout bowlers with 13 and 12 wickets each but Mark Wood’s form will be a cause of worry as apart from a three-wicket haul, he couldn’t get any wicket in his last 5 T20Is.

For the co-hosts USA, it has been a reality check after a stunning show in the group stage. They suffered successive losses and their entry into the semifinal will be a miracle as they are alive in the tournament only mathematically.

USA will need to beat England by 80 runs in their final game and also hope that South Africa outwits WI by more than 67 runs to make the semifinal on the basis of NRR.

For US, Andries Gous and Aaron Jones have done the heavy lifting in the batting department and they will need support from the entire team as it will take more than a few individual performances to get it across the defending champions.

Jones has been leading the sides since USA have been without skipper Monank Patel following their game against Pakistan.

Teams (from)

England: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley and Mark Wood.

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: 8pm IST.

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