In the opening Super 8 game of the T20 World Cup in Antigua, South Africa emerged victorious over the United States by 18 runs, with Kagiso Rabada's seasoned performance sealing the deal in a nail-biting finish. Struggling on New York's sluggish pitches during the group stage, South Africa found their rhythm at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, amassing 194-4, thanks largely to Quinton de Kock's impressive 74. The U.S. fought back with Andries Gous' unbeaten 80 and Harmeet Singh's 38, but Rabada's crucial 3-18 spell curbed their momentum, leading to their defeat. 'We've faced challenging pitches leading up to this match, and it's great to spend time in the middle,' said De Kock, the player of the match. The U.S., who won the toss and chose to field, managed to dismiss Reeza Hendricks early, but De Kock's aggressive batting helped South Africa score over 10 runs per over during the powerplay. De Kock's fifty came off just 26 balls, and he partnered with Aiden Markram for a 110-run stand. Harmeet Singh ended De Kock's innings with a mistimed full toss caught near the boundary, and he nearly had a hat trick with David Miller's dismissal. Markram missed his fifty by four runs, caught by Ali Khan off a wide ball from Saurabh Netravalkar, who finished with 2-21. Despite Netravalkar's efforts, Heinrich Klaasen's six-hitting and a quick 36, along with Tristan Stubbs' 20, pushed South Africa to 194-4. Steven Taylor of the U.S. started strong with a boundary off the first ball but fell to Rabada later. Rabada also dismissed Nitish Kumar and US captain Aaron Jones, both for ducks. Gous' resistance included back-to-back sixes for his fifty, but the mounting required run rate was too much. Shamsi's 18th over went for 22 runs, but Rabada's tight penultimate over, conceding just two, sealed the U.S.'s fate. 'It's tough to lose after coming so close. We could have been more disciplined with our bowling,' reflected Jones. 'It could have been a closer game and we could have won.'