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England secures spot in T20 World Cup semis, South Africa beats West Indies by 3 wickets

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) — Fast bowler Chris Jordan got a hat trick and the American cricket team lost five wickets in six balls as England secured its spot in the semifinals of the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.

Defending champion England crushed the United States by 10 wickets with 62 balls remaining in their last Super Eight game.

South Africa sealed a place in the semifinals for the first time since 2014 when it beat co-host the West Indies by three wickets in a thrilling rain-affected match at North South, Antigua. They will go through along with England from Group 2.

Both co-hosts, the West Indies and United States, now have been eliminated.

Jordan, who replaced pacer Mark Wood, grabbed four wickets off five balls in his last over to dismantle the U.S. for 115 runs in 18.5 overs and become the first Englishman to claim a hat trick in T20 internationals. He finished with 4-10 in 2.5 overs on the Caribbean island of Barbados where he was born.

“Very nice to do this at a special place like this,” Jordan said.

Captain Jos Buttler then smashed 83 not out off 38 balls, including five sixes in one over against left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh, as England raced to 117-0 in 9.4 overs.

“I thought if we could bring our intensity, we’d be too good,” Buttler said. England started its innings knowing that it needed to surpass South Africa’s net run-rate by chasing the target in 18.4 overs but finished the chase in less than 10 overs.

“We’ve got great options. We wanted to bring Chris Jordan back, adds a bit of depth with his batting capabilities as well," Buttler said.

England, which also beat West Indies, finished the Super Eights with two big wins and a healthy net run-rate of 1.992. Its massive win over the U.S. means South Africa, which is unbeaten in six games but has a net run-rate of 0.625, must avoid defeat against tournament co-host West Indies in Sunday’s other game to qualify with England for the semifinals.

England squeezed the Americans in the middle overs through impeccable leg spin from man-of-the-match Adil Rashid (2-13 in four overs) as Liam Livingstone (1-24) also bowled well after Buttler won the toss and elected to field.

Rashid, who didn’t concede a boundary, bowled two perfect googlies that baffled captain Aaron Jones (10) and top-scorer Nitish Kumar (30).

The sensational collapse began at the end of the 18th over when Jordan caught Harmeet Singh at long-off — off Sam Curran’s full toss — and then bowled a pulsating 19th over.

Corey Anderson (29) holed out a pacey full toss from Jordan at the start of the over. Jordan's third ball sent Ali Khan’s off stump cartwheeling. Jordan then had Nosthush Kenjige pinned leg before wicket off a sharp incoming delivery and got his hat trick by uprooting Saurabh Netravalkar’s middle stump to end the match.

Jordan is the second bowler at this World Cup after Pat Cummins to record a hat trick. The Australian fast bowler took back-to-back hat tricks against Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Buttler smashed seven sixes and six boundaries. Phil Salt (25 not out) happily gave the strike to his skipper.

The Americans' fairy-tale World Cup debut, which included a historic victory against heavyweight Pakistan earlier in the tournament, ended with three straight Super Eight losses.

Jones said his team ran out of steam against South Africa, West Indies and England in the Super Eight stage after his sensational power-hitting earned the U.S. two back-to-back wins over Canada and Pakistan in the first two games during the group stage.

“We’ve not had a good last two games," Jones said, but added “we’ve really enjoyed this tournament.”

Jones said his team had defied expectations.

“This is our first World Cup and I don’t think people would have thought we’d be playing here against the big boys,” Jones said. “Hopefully this will open the eyes of the American public."

South Africa edges West Indies to qualify

At North Sound, Antigua, tall fast bowler Marco Jansen became a hero with the bat as South Africa clinched its place in the semifinals with a thrilling three wicket win over the West Indies in a rain-affected match.

For almost an hour as heavy rain fell in the middle of the match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, both teams were in an anxious limbo.

The West Indies had made 135-8 after being sent in and South Africa was 12-2 after two overs when a squall of heavy rain and wind passed across the ground. When the players returned, three overs had been lost and South Africa was chasing 123 from 90 balls.

The Proteas seemed to be coasting towards victory at 77-3 in the eighth over. But the West Indies produced an extraordinary performance to force the match into the last over.

Earlier, Jansen had been injured in a collision with Kagiso Rabada while fielding. By a quirk of fate it was those two players who found themselves at the crease as the match reached its climax.

South Africa needed 12 runs from nine balls when Rabada came out to bat. He hit a four from the last ball of the penultimate over to leave the Proteas needing five runs from six balls. Jansen then smashed the first ball of the last over for six to win the match and finish 21 not out.

“We keep finding a way to win these matches whatever the situation,” said Tabraiz Shamsi who was Player of the Match. “Our supporters would probably like bigger wins. But things like this keep us in check and we’ve been able to overcome these moments throughout the tournament.”

Earlier, Roston Chase made 52 from 42 balls and shared a 81-run third wicket partnership with Kyle Mayers which provided the heart of the West Indies innings. Mayers, who was making his first appearance at the tournament as a replacement for the injured Brandon King, opened the innings and made 35 from 34 balls.

The West Indies suffered a massive setback when it lost big-hitters Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran in the first two overs.

Pooran made 98 from 53 balls in the West Indies’ last group match against Afghanistan and Hope made 82 from 39 balls in its nine wicket win over the United States on Friday.

But Hope was out for a first-ball duck — no runs scored — Sunday to the third ball of the match and Pooran fell for one to the first ball of the second over.

Chase hit the first ball he faced for four and hit the first six of the innings off Keshav Maharaj in the fifth over. He also lived on his luck to a degree: he was dropped on 11 and 14 on his way to a half century from 39 balls.

Tabraiz Shamsi took 3-27 and captain Aiden Markram bowled his four overs consecutively at the top of the order and took 1-28.

South Africa also lost two wickets early: Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock were out in the second over of their innings before the rain. They seemed to have put themselves in a winning position with the help of Tristan Stubbs' 29 from 27 balls but it finally came down to Jansen.

“Credit has to be given to the boys, I think we fought to the end,” West Indies captain Rovan Powell said. “I think it was a commendable bowling effort. After making 135 we just decided to give it our all and whatever happens happens.”

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket