The United States (USA) pulled off a big surprise by beating Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2024 match on Thursday at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas. The game was full of twists and turns and went down to the Super Over, where the co-hosts won. Despite their experience, Pakistan couldn’t take advantage of the chances USA gave them. With this win, USA moved to the top of the points table in Group A, overtaking India.

Pakistan had a tough start after being asked to bat first, scoring only 30 runs in the powerplay and losing the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, and Usman Khan. Skipper Babar Azam took his time to settle in while facing pressure. Babar, alongside Shadab Khan, formed a crucial partnership of 72 runs for the fourth wicket in 8 overs, aiding Pakistan’s recovery.

Shadab took charge in the partnership, scoring 40 runs off 25 balls with a four and 3 sixes, while Babar accelerated to finish on 44 off 23 deliveries. Just as it seemed they would accelerate further, Nosthush Kenjige of the USA intervened. The left-arm spinner dismissed Shadab and then sent back the struggling Azam Khan for a golden duck.

Kenjige stood out for the USA with impressive figures of 3 wickets for 30 runs in his 4 overs. Eventually, Shaheen Shah Afridi’s late hitting pushed Pakistan to 159 for 7. Saurabh Netravalkar, a former India U19 cricketer, also troubled Babar’s side with 2 wickets for 18 runs in his 4 overs. Ali Khan and Jasdeep Singh chipped in with a wicket each.

Captain Monank Leads the Charge: USA’s Strong Run-Chase

USA had a promising start to their run-chase with Steven Taylor and Monank Patel forming a partnership of 36 runs for the opening wicket in 5.1 overs. Naseem Shah broke the partnership by dismissing Taylor for 12 off 16 balls.

After Taylor’s departure, skipper Monank took charge and reached his half-century off 34 balls. His partnership of 68 runs with Andries Gous positioned USA as favorites to win. Gous contributed 35 runs off 26 balls with 5 fours and 1 six before being bowled by Haris Rauf. Together, they ensured that USA maintained a good pace with the required run rate.

Mohammad Amir deals a crucial blow to USA by dismissing Monank, who scored 50 off 38. With the required run rate at 10, Aaron Jones, the standout from the match against Canada, shoulders the responsibility to steer USA to victory.

Needing 12 runs off the final over, Jones smashes Rauf for a six over mid-wicket and a four, forcing the match into a Super Over. Jones maintains his composure, ending unbeaten on 36 off 26, showcasing his temperament once more.

Jones Leads USA to Dramatic Super Over Victory Over Pakistan

In the Super Over, Amir conceded 12 runs. Jones kickstarted with a boundary, elegantly clearing the third man region. Following that, he grabbed a couple and a single, capitalizing on Amir’s attempts to bowl block-hole deliveries. A wide from Amir gave Jones an opportunity to sneak in a bye. Ultimately, USA set Pakistan a target of 19.

Netravalkar began with a dot ball but conceded a four on the next delivery. Despite a nervy wide, he redeemed himself with the crucial wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed. With 7 needed off the last ball, Shadab could only manage a single.

Clearly, Pakistan needs to regroup before their upcoming match against Rohit Sharma’s India on June 9.

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