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USA orchestrates shock defeat of Pakistan at Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup


By David Close and Sam Joseph, CNN

(CNN) — The US cricket team orchestrated a shocking defeat of powerhouse Pakistan following a dramatic Super Over victory at the Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup on Thursday in Dallas.

The thrilling win was the biggest in US cricket history and is already being regarded as one of the biggest upsets in the sport.

Team captain Monank Patel, who was named player of the match, spoke about what the landmark victory meant to the team and the country.

“I am happy with the win. Playing against Pakistan for the first time in the World Cup and beating them, it 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 possesses significant cricketing pedigree, reaching the T20 World Cup final in 2022 and winning the competition in 2009.

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

Pakistan is ranked No. 6 in the world while the US team is No. 18.

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.

It has been a remarkable journey for Netravalkar, a software engineer at Oracle. He was born in Mumbai but moved to the US to pursue a Master’s degree in computer engineering, graduating from Cornell University in New York, per 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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