USA stun Pakistan in dramatic Super Over in T20 World Cup

Dallas, June 7 (UNI) USA produced a historic moment in the history of cricket as they stunned Pakistan with a Super Over victory in a nail-biting contest at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

A boundary off the final ball of USA’s run-chase had sent the match to a Super Over, and it was the co-hosts of the tournament who came out on top in Dallas, pulling off one of the all-time great shocks.

Pakistan have reached at least the semi-final stage in six of the eight men’s T20 World Cups, including finishing runners-up in the most recent tournament in Australia in 2022. But they came against a USA side who did everything right on the day to pull off one of the biggest results in the history of the game.

Pakistan turned to Mohammad Amir in the Super Over, but three wides and a string of overthrows helped USA rack up 18 runs, despite just one boundary coming off the bat of Aaron Jones.

And Netravalkar Saurabh held his nerve with the ball as USA completed the most remarkable of victories on home soil.

Set 160 to win in regulation time, USA very nearly won the game in their initial allocated overs as their top order dealt well with a high-calibre Pakistan attack.

Opener Steven Taylor departed for 12 (16) in the final over of the Powerplay, but Monank Patel and Andries Gous put Pakistan on the back foot with a brilliant partnership that moved the tournament co-hosts into treble figures and seemingly in control of the run chase, an ICC report said.

Monank was particularly impressive, hitting a classy half-century to give his side hope, putting on 68 in a crucial stand with Gous.

However, Pakistan’s four-pronged pace attack hit back, removing both set batters to set up a nervy finale at the Grand Prairie Stadium.

Haris Rauf cleaned up Gous (35 from 26) to get the crucial breakthrough. And, an over later, Mohammad Amir had the excellent Patel caught behind for 50 from 38 to give Pakistan hope.

A classic display of death bowling seemed to have put Pakistan on the brink of victory despite a fine knock from Aaron Jones (36 not out from 26).

But USA banged 11 runs off the final three deliveries of the innings, with Nitish Kumar slamming the last ball for four to force a Super Over and send the home crowd delirious in Dallas.

Earlier, a recovery partnership between Babar Azam (44 from 43) and Shadab Khan (40 from 25) helped Pakistan recover from the loss of early wickets, before some big late hits from Shaheen Shah Afridi boosted the first-innings total to 159/7 after 20 overs.

Nosthush Kenjige (3/30 from 4) and Saurabh Netravalkar (2/18 from 4) led the way with the ball for the tournament co-hosts, who have given their batters a chance against one of Group A’s big two.

Tournament hosts USA won the toss, with captain Monak Patel opting to bowl first at the Grand Prairie Stadium here.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam also revealed he would have opted to bowl first in “Test match conditions”, and his assessment was borne out in a tricky start to his team’s innings.

Mohammad Rizwan (9) was removed by a stunning catch in the second over, with Usman Khan (3) holing out seven balls later and Fakhar Zaman departing for 11 to leave Pakistan in a spot of bother.

Steven Taylor plucks that out of thin air to send Mohammad Rizwan back.

Babar and Shadab led the rebuild as Pakistan moved towards a competitive total. But the momentum swung back in the favour of USA as Nosthush Kenjige took two in two balls to dismiss the well-set Shadab (40 from 25) and Azam Khan (0) with a first-baller.

Shadab Khan and Azam Khan walk back as Pakistan slip in Dallas as Nosthush Kenjige gets two in two for USA.

Babar’s anchoring innings came to an abrupt end when he was trapped lbw by Jasdeep Singh for 44 – a total that saw him become the leading run-scorer in the history of men’s T20 Internationals.

But Pakistan accelerated at the back end through Iftikhar Ahmed (18 from 14) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (23 from 16) to boost their total to 159/7 and give their talented bowling line-up a decent total to defend… not quite decent enough as it turned out.

USA opened the tournament with victory over neighbours Canada in the opening game and have blown Group A wide open with this result against a Pakistan side who had been favourites, along with India to progress to the Super 8 phase.

Pakistan’s build-up had been disrupted by weather, both during their rain-affected series in England and also since arriving in Texas. But this result ranks as their most disappointing ever at major ICC events.

India await Pakistan next up in a huge match in New York on Sunday.

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