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07/06/24 | 10:19 am

Newcomers USA topple Pakistan in T20 World Cup shocker

By: Aditya Ahuja

World Cup debutants, the United States, delivered Pakistan the shock of a lifetime, as they edged out the Babar Azam-led side in a thrilling Super Over finish at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas on Thursday.

Batting first, Pakistan set a tricky target of 160 on a two-paced surface. The American bowlers got off to a dream start, reducing Pakistan to 26 for 3 in the powerplay. Skipper Azam struggled his way to 44, but it was Shadab Khan who provided crucial late-order blows, helping the Men in Green post a respectable total. For the US, Nosthush Kenjige and Saurabh Netravalkar were the pick of the bowlers, sharing five wickets between them.

The American batters displayed exceptional grit in their chase, dominating most of the game. Captain and wicketkeeper Monank Patel scored a mature 50, well supported by Andries Gous. Their chase was going smoothly until Mohammad Amir pulled things back for Pakistan with a barrage of yorkers in the penultimate over. With 15 required off the final over, Aaron Jones and Nitish Kumar kept their nerves against Haris Rauf, forcing the game into a Super Over.

Facing all six balls in the Super Over against Mohammad Amir, power hitter Alex Jones set a daunting target of 19 for Pakistan. However, the ‘Men in Green’ could only manage 13 runs, losing one wicket, in a brilliant Super Over bowled by Saurabh Netravalkar.

The jubilant crowd at the stadium erupted in celebration, marking a special day for the sport in the United States. USA now needs one more win to qualify for the Round of 8, where the big teams of the sport will clash.

This victory is a historic moment in American cricket, given their limited experience against Test nations. This win also throws Group A wide open, with numerous possibilities for who will make it to the Super 8.

Skipper Monak Patel was adjudged as the ‘Player of the Match’ for this composed 38-ball 50.

Brief score: Pakistan 159/7 (Babar Azam 44, Shadab Khan 40, Shaheen Afridi 23*; Nosthush Kenjige 3/30) vs US 159 (Monank Patel 50, Andries Gous 35, Aaron Jones 36; Mohammad Amir 1/25)

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