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T20 World Cup: USA stun Pakistan by 5 runs in Super Over for second win in Group A

Dallas, June 7: Co-hosts the United States caused a massive upset in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, stunning former champions Pakistan by five runs in a Super Over after their encounter ended in a tie at the Grand Prairie Stadium here. Electing to field first, the USA restricted Pakistan to 159/7 and then matched the score, producing a brilliant run-chase to take Pakistan into a Super Over. With Nitish Kumar hitting a boundary off the last ball bowled by Haris Rauf, USA reached 159/3 in 20 overs and tied the scores.

In the Super Over, Mohammed Amir was directionless and bowled three wides as Aaron Jones and Harmeet Singh scored 18/1 in six balls. Aaron Jones was run out for 11 off the last ball of the One-Over Eliminator. Saurabh Netravalkar defended that despite being struck for a four off the second ball by Iftikhar. He too bowled two wides.

He, however, got Iftikhar out for four with Nitish Kumar picking up a superb catch as Pakistan needed seven runs off the last ball but could manage only two, losing the match by five runs. This is the USA’s second victory in Group A after they started with a win against Canada in the tournament lung-opener on June 1. Pakistan lost their first match and will take on arch-rivals India on Sunday in New York. Chasing 160 for victory, opener Steven Taylor departed for 12 (16) in the final over of the Powerplay, as USA scored 44/1.

Skipper Monank Patel and Andries Gous put Pakistan on the back foot with a brilliant 69-run partnership for the second wicket that moved the tournament co-hosts into treble figures and seemingly in control of the run chase. Monank was particularly impressive, hitting a classy half-century to give his side hope. He scored an exact 50 off 38 balls, hitting seven boundaries and one six, while Gous scored 35 off 26 balls. 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. Despite a fine knock from Aaron Jones, Pakistan had moved to the brink of victory, thanks to a classic display of death bowling. But USA hammered 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. After the USA won the toss and elected to field, 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. Babar and Shadab led the rebuild as Pakistan moved towards a competitive total.

But the momentum swung back in 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. 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. However, that proved insufficient as their bowlers bowled well in patches and allowed the USA to tie the match and force the One-Over Eliminator. Brief scores: Pakistan 159/7 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 44, Shadab Khan 40; Nosthush Kenjige 3-30, Saurabh Netravalkar 2-16) tied with United States of America 159/3 in 20 overs (Monank Patel 50, Andries Gous 35, Aaron Jones 36 not out; Mohammad Amir 1-25, Haris Rauf 1-37). USA won the One-Over Eliminator by 5 runs.

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