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US stuns Pakistan in cricket's T-20 World Cup

Saurabh Nethralvakar celebrates after the U.S. win in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match against Pakistan at the Grand Prairie Stadium in suburban Dallas, Texas, June 6, 2024.
Saurabh Nethralvakar celebrates after the U.S. win in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match against Pakistan at the Grand Prairie Stadium in suburban Dallas, Texas, June 6, 2024.

The United States beat Pakistan in a super over in Dallas on Thursday to achieve one of the biggest upsets in T20 World Cup history and secure its second win of the cricket tournament.

Pakistan, the 2009 champions, recovered from a poor start to score 159-7, but the U.S. plundered 14 runs from their final over to finish on 159-3 and send the match to a super over.

The tournament co-hosts made 18-1, helped by two wides from Pakistan, before restricting their opponents to 13-1 to seal a famous victory.

"It's a big achievement, beating Pakistan and playing for the first time," U.S. captain and player of the match Monank Patel said.

"The way we played today, I'm really proud of the boys, and it was a complete team effort from ball one to the last ball."

Pakistan captain Babar Azam bemoaned his side's batting performance.

"We didn't capitalize with the bat, and they took a lot of momentum. Credit to [the] USA — they performed so well today. They were better than us in all aspects of the game," Babar said.

Blue skies

The match began under blue skies on a sweltering day in Texas with Pakistan soon reeling at 30 for three against an attack including five bowlers born either on the Indian subcontinent or to parents from there.

Mohammad Rizwan (9), Usman Khan (3) and Fakhar Zaman (11) quickly perished, and only Babar stood firm to reach 44 before he was caught off medium-pacer Jasdeep Singh.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Nosthush Kenjige, born in Alabama, dismissed Shadab Khan (40) and Azam Khan (0) off successive balls to finish with three for 30 from his four overs.

Tall left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi brought respectability to the scorecard by hitting two sixes and a four to finish on 23 not out.

Afridi took the new ball, conceding three boundaries in his first two overs, as the U.S. batsmen went for their shots to reach 44 for one at the end of the powerplay.

South African-born Andries Gous, who scored 65 in his team's opening win over Canada, was quickly into his stride, driving paceman Haris Rauf through the covers for four.

Gous struck leg-spinner Shadab Khan, Pakistan’s most successful T20 bowler, for six, and Patel hit consecutive boundaries off Iftikhar Ahmed and lofted Afridi for six to bring up his 50.

Gaus was bowled by Rauf for 35, and Patel caught behind off Mohammad Amir before Aaron Jones took over with an unbeaten 36.

The U.S. needed 15 runs off their final over to overhaul Pakistan’s 159 for seven with the powerful Jones at the crease facing Rauf.

Jones struck the fourth ball over long-on for six but could squeeze only a single off the fifth to put Nitish Kumar on strike with five needed for victory and four to take the match to a super over.

Kumar was up to the challenge, however, stepping outside his leg stump and chipping a full toss over mid-off to the boundary.

Jones and Harmeet Singh collected 18 runs in the super over by running hard between the wickets, and although Pakistan collected two boundaries, they needed six off the last ball to force another super over and could manage only a single.

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