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T20 WC co-hosts set to clash in must win super eight fixture

The T20 World Cup 2024 co-hosts, West Indies and USA, are all set to clash in a super-eights fixture that is a must-win for either side. West Indies are serious title contenders. They got to the super-eights round with an emphatic 104-run win against Afghanistan in their final group stage fixture while the USA’s progress to the next round was perhaps the biggest surprise this tournament has dished out. A commanding win over Canada, followed by, one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, a super-over victory against Pakistan, and then a deserved favor of luck against Ireland, a game washed out by the rain, USA’s campaign has been no lesser than a dream. 

But the good days of group stages are long gone for either team, as both sides experienced defeats in their respective opening super-eights fixtures. West Indies’ hopes of a third T20 World Title were jolted after England dominated them in St Lucia, handing a heavy defeat. Another loss would put them on the verge of elimination.

The Windies dealt with an injury setback against England when top-order batter Brandon King was forced to retire hurt after suffering a side strain. Although King has been short of runs this tournament – just 63 in four games in the group stages – he has looked the most threatening against England scoring 23 off just 13 deliveries, powering his side to a blistering start.

The USA are yet to win a game after their historic victory against Pakistan, but they have shows instances of courage and there are no signs of them backing off. Their first game of the super-eight round was against South Africa which ended in a hear-breaking 18-run defeat for the co-hosts. Aaron Jones’ side need to win their next fixture to keep their campaign alive. The USA will surely be taking motivation from their bowling performance against South Africa on a belter of a track.

The USA’s batting performances have been a spectacle in this tournament. Starting off their campaign with incredible run-chases against Canada and Pakistan, their batters like Aaron Jones and Andries Gous have been shining bright. Another batter in the spotlight for the next game would be Steven Taylor. A US-born star, who has been associated with American cricket for well over a decade. However, this World Cup hasn’t been great for him as he has struggled to convert starts into big runs. 

King’s injury against England means he will not be available for this game. Shimron Hetmyer is likely to be included in the playing XI. As far as the USA are concerned, their captain Monank Patel is yet to make an appearance since the game against Pakistan due to a shoulder injury, and is unlikely to play this game too. Shadley van Schalkwyk could return to replace Jasdeep Singh who had a horror outing last time conceding 28 off his first five balls. 

Bridgetown has comparatively been a high-scoring venue, though it hosted a low-scoring encounter between Namibia and Oman which ended in a tie. The weather forecast remains clear for the evening but is expected to remain humid.