USA Stuns Pakistan in Historic T20 World Cup Upset
USA Stuns Pakistan in Historic T20 World Cup Upset

The US cricket team pulled off a stunning upset against powerhouse Pakistan with a dramatic Super Over victory at the Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup on Thursday in Dallas.

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The thrilling win, considered the biggest in US cricket history, is already being hailed as one of the sport’s greatest upsets.

Team captain Monank Patel, named player of the match, shared his thoughts on the landmark victory. “I am happy with the win. Playing against Pakistan for the first time in the World Cup and beating them was an unbelievable performance from our side,” he told reporters after the match. “I would say it’s a big day for Team USA and for the USA cricket community too,” he added.

The United States is making its first appearance at the T20 World Cup and is co-hosting the tournament for the first time, along with the West Indies.

The magnitude of Thursday’s victory cannot be understated. Cricket is far from a mainstream sport in the US, while Pakistan, ranked No. 6 in the world, has a significant cricketing pedigree, having reached the T20 World Cup final in 2022 and won the competition in 2009. The US team is ranked No. 18.

“Of course, beating Pakistan in the World Cup is going to open many doors for us,” said Patel. “Obviously, hosting the World Cup in the USA and performing here as a team helps us grow cricket in the USA.”

Nitish Kumar hit a match-saving boundary to force the Super Over – a tie-breaking method in which whoever scores the most runs from six balls wins – much to the delight of US fans at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium.

In the tie-breaking over, the United States posted a competitive score of 18 runs.

The US was led by bowler Saurabh Netravalkar, who took the ball in the Super Over and limited Pakistan’s batters to 13 runs, securing the win.

Netravalkar, a software engineer at Oracle, has had a remarkable journey. Born in Mumbai, he moved to the US to pursue a Master’s degree in computer engineering, graduating from Cornell University in New York, according to ESPN.

He played cricket recreationally after moving to the US, eventually making his debut for the national side, which he has previously captained, in 2019. He plays domestically for the Washington Freedom in Major League Cricket.

The US, which won its opening game against Canada and is currently top of Group A with four points, has two more group-stage games remaining, against India and Ireland.

Remaining atop the group would see the US advance to the Super 8 knockout round at the first time of asking.

India, also in Group A and a pre-tournament favorite, will take on Pakistan in New York on Sunday.

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