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United States beat Pakistan in T20 World Cup Super Over thriller

USA's Saurabh Netravalkar (R) celebrates his dismissal of Pakistan's Iftikhar Ahmed (C) in a super over during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)
USA's Saurabh Netravalkar (R) celebrates his dismissal of Pakistan's Iftikhar Ahmed (C) in a super over during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

The United States enjoyed arguably the greatest day in their cricket history as they beat Pakistan in a stunning Super Over upset at the T20 World Cup on Thursday.

Both teams made 159 in their regulation 20 overs, with non-Test nation the United States then setting Pakistan 19 to win in the Super Over of this Group A match at Grand Prairie, near Dallas, Texas.

India-born paceman Saurabh Netravalkar held his nerve as Pakistan, runners-up at the 2022 T20 World Cup and champions in 2009, only managed 13-1 in reply.

Pakistan were earlier restricted to 159-7, with left-arm quick Netravalkar taking a miserly 2-18, after being sent into bat in their first match of the tournament.

The United States innings ended in dramatic fashion when Nitish Kumar hit a four off a last-ball full toss from Haris Rauf as the tournament co-hosts, who beat Canada in their opening Group A match, finished on 159-3.

Pakistan's Mohammad Amir was entrusted with the Super Over but the veteran left-arm paceman bowled several wides with panic fielding, that led to wild overthrows, also helping the United States score 18 runs.

Netravalkar had Iftikhar Ahmed brilliantly caught low down in the deep by Kumar, although it needed a lengthy check by third umpire Paul Reiffel, the former Australia fast bowler, to confirm the dismissal.

And with seven needed off the last ball, Shadab Khan was unable to manage the six that would have forced a second Super Over, sparking wild celebrations among the USA team and their home fans.

Even allowing for the United States 2-1 one-day international series win over Bangladesh last month -- and Pakistan's infamous reputation for making bad starts to tournaments -- this was the landmark result in modern American cricket.

Pakistan must now regroup quickly ahead of their next match against arch-rivals India in New York on Sunday -- the showpiece match of the group stage.

The United States were well on course for a sensational win at 104-1 in the 14th over.

But they were 111-3 when India-born captain Monank Patel was caught behind off Amir for exactly 50.

Earlier, United States left-arm spinner Nosthush Kenjige, who opened the bowling, took 3-30 -- including two wickets in two balls -- from his maximum four overs.

Pakistan were in dire straits at 26-3 before a partnership of 72 between skipper Babar Azam (44) and Shadab Khan (40) bolstered their total.

Mohammad Rizwan was superbly caught one-handed at slip by Steven Taylor off Netravalkar before Usman Khan holed out off Kenjige to leave Pakistan 14-2.

Shadab and Azam Khan fell in successive balls to Kenjige before tailender Shaheen Shah Afridi made 23 not out to give Pakistan fresh hope.

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