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USA stun Pakistan in dramatic T20 World Cup super over

3 minute read

Co-hosts US have pulled off the first shock of the T20 World Cup with a stunning defeat of last-time finalists Pakistan, via a super over.

Babar Azam of Pakistan (right).
Babar Azam of Pakistan (right). Picture: AAP Image

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the sporting shocks.

In a Dallas suburb that had never staged a cricket match until last year, debutants US have humbled 2022 finalists Pakistan in a result that sets the T20 World Cup alight.

The co-hosts matched Pakistan's 159 in the regulation 20 overs, thanks to a last-ball boundary, before scoring 19 in the super over.

Pakistan could only score 13 in their over and now go into their next match, against historic rivals India in New York on Sunday, under huge pressure.

The US then meet India on Wednesday in New York in their next match. Having already beaten Canada, they will be eyeing qualification for the Super 8 stage.

Put in to bat, Pakistan ground their way to 7-159 at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium and never really threatened to make a big score. Babar Azam top scored with 44 in 43 balls, while Shadab Khan added 40 in 25.

For the Americans, Shaurabh Netravalkar bowled tight to take 2-18 off his four overs, including a stunning catch at slip from Steven Taylor to dismiss Muhammad Rizwan, while Nosthush Kenjige claiming 3-30.

The US began well and looked to be cantering to victory at 1-104 after 13 overs before Andries Gous (35 off 26) and Monank Patel (50 off 38) were dismissed in successive overs.

They needed 12 off three balls bowled by Haris Rauf. Aaron Jones smacked a full toss for six, a single followed and then Nitish Kumar drove another full toss for four.

Pakistan's super over, bowled by Mohammad Amir, was a mess. He bowled three wides which with scrambled singles and overthrows cost seven runs.

Netravalkar bowled America's super over. He didn't concede any wides and the home side's fine fielding was highlighted when Iftikhar Ahmed was brilliantly caught by long-on diving forward.

"It's a huge achievement. For us to beat Pakistan, we are playing them for the first time, I am just so proud of how we played," said US captain Patel.

"It was a proper team effort from first ball until the last. Winning the toss, we knew we had to make sure we utilised conditions and credit to our bowlers for doing that.

"We knew that 160 was chaseable on this pitch. I am pleased with my innings, happy to contribute but mostly happy to win as a team. As a player you want to show up for the big occasions and I am delighted to contribute to a winning cause."

Pakistan skipper Babar said: "We weren't up to it in the first six overs with the ball as usual, not taking wickets again.

"And then our spinners are not taking wickets in the middle either. But it's early in the tournament, we will come back from this.

"Yes, our task ahead is hard. But credit to USA, they performed so well today. They were better than us in all aspects of the game."

In the later match, Scotland beat Namibia by five wickets to register their first win in four T20s against the south-west Africans.

Namibia made 9-155 while Scotland replied with 5-157, skipper Richie Berrington top scoring with an unbeaten 47.

Earlier, the International Cricket Council admitted the pitches being used in New York have not been up to standard and ground staff led by Australian curator Damian Hough are working on remedying them.

The temporary Long Island venue has hosted two games so far, both of which were low-scoring encounters due to the nature of the drop-in pitch which has made batting extremely difficult due to the movement and bounce.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 77 - their lowest score - against South Africa while India bowled out Ireland for 96.

"T20 Inc and the ICC recognise that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted," the ICC said.

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