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T20 World Cup 2024: USA stun Pakistan - Dissecting a major upset

T20 World Cup 2024, USA vs PAK: USA beat Pakistan in super-over and register first upset of the tournament. Find out the reasons, why Pakistan lost against USA.

T20 World Cup 2024, USA vs PAK_ USA beat Pakistan in Group A game _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC_X)
USA vs PAK: USA upset Pakistan in Group A game (Source: ©ICC/X)

In a thrilling T20 World Cup 2024 encounter, United States of America (USA) achieved a significant upset by defeating Pakistan in a Super Over at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas. The match, filled with dramatic twists, saw the co-hosts USA emerge victorious. Pakistan, despite their extensive experience, failed to capitalise on the opportunities presented to them by the USA. With this victory, USA soared to the top of the points table in Group A, overtaking India.

Pakistan's Batting Struggles and USA's Bowling Excellence

After being asked to bat first, Pakistan had a disastrous start, scoring only 30 runs in the powerplay and losing the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman and Usman Khan. Captain Babar Azam managed to collect only four runs off the 14 balls he faced in the powerplay, resulting in Pakistan registering their fifth lowest team total in T20I cricket. 

However, they began to recover with Shadab Khan, forming a crucial 72-run partnership for the fourth wicket in 8 overs. Shadab played aggressively, scoring 40 off 25 balls, while Babar finished with 44 off 23 deliveries.

However, USA's bowlers, particularly Nosthush Kenjige, displayed superb control and discipline. Kenjige's left-arm spin was pivotal as he dismissed Shadab and the out-of-form Azam Khan for a golden duck, finishing with impressive figures of 4-0-30-3. Saurabh Netravalkar, a former India U19 player, also shone with figures of 4-0-18-2, helping in restricting Pakistan to 159 for 7 despite a late surge from Shaheen Shah Afridi.

T20 World Cup 2024, USA vs PAK_ Monark Patel scored fifty against Pakistan _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC_X)
Monark Patel scored fifty against Pakistan (Source: ©ICC/X)
USA's Steady Chase with Key Partnerships

USA's chase began promisingly with Steven Taylor and Monank Patel forming a 36-run opening partnership. Naseem Shah provided Pakistan with a breakthrough by dismissing Taylor for 12 off 16 balls. Skipper Monank Patel took charge from there, scoring a half-century off 34 balls. His 68-run partnership with Andries Gous (35 off 26) kept USA in contention.

Mohammad Amir struck a crucial blow by dismissing Monank for 50 off 38 balls, but Aaron Jones stepped up when it mattered the most. Needing 12 runs in the final over, Jones hit Haris Rauf for a six and a four, pushing the match into a Super Over.

Super Over Heroics

In the Super Over, USA set Pakistan a target of 19 runs. Aaron Jones continued his stellar form, hitting a boundary off Mohammad Amir. Amir, Pakistan's most experienced bowler, bowled three wides in his Super Over, with the US batters stealing another run every time. Mohammad Rizwan conceded another extra run on an overthrow off the last of these wides.

Thanks to the extras and other acts of fielding indiscipline from Pakistan, USA made 18 off their Super Over In response, Netravalkar kept his nerves steady. Despite conceding a boundary and a wide, he took the crucial wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed and restricted Pakistan to just 13 runs, sealing a remarkable 5-run victory for USA.

T20 World Cup 2024, USA vs PAK_ Saurabh Netravalkar's 2-18 and superover bowling help USA beat Pakistan _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC_X)
Saurabh's 2-18 & super over bowling help USA beat Pakistan (Source: ©ICC/X)
Post-Match Reflections

USA captain Monank Patel praised his team's composure under pressure, noting that the lack of crowd support for USA worked in their favour by increasing the pressure on Pakistan. Patel emphasized the importance of maintaining calm, especially during the Super Over.

"We thought we should have finished the game in regular time and never let it go to a Super Over. But the way we kept our nerves, especially scoring 18 runs in the Super Over, gave us a significant advantage," Patel remarked post-match.

Reflecting on the team's strategy, Patel added, "In the huddle, we talked about there being no pressure for us. All the pressure was on Pakistan. We knew the crowd support was for Pakistan, which could backfire on them if we played good cricket."

As USA celebrates this historic win, Pakistan will need to reassess their strategies before their next game against India on June 9.


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