US Pulls Huge Upset in Sport No One in US Watches

Men's cricket team defeats Pakistan to move to top of the table in debut at T20 World Cup
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2024 9:29 AM CDT
US Pulls Huge Upset in Sport No One in US Watches
United States' Saurabh Nethralvakar celebrates after their win in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match against Pakistan at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas, Thursday, June 6, 2024.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The US men's national cricket team has scored a huge upset in defeating one of the world's top teams in its first appearance in the T20 World Cup, a tournament showcasing the shortest and fastest form of the game. The team from Pakistan, a finalist at the last T20 World Cup, is ranked sixth in the world, while the US ranks 18th. The score was tied at 159 at the end of 20 overs, or regulation time, prompting a super over—essentially an overtime period in which the team who scored the most runs from six balls would win. Led by bowler Saurabh Netravalkar, a former under-19 player for India, the US went on to score 18 runs, five more than Pakistan. The New York Times calls it "one of the biggest shocks in cricket history."

The upset marks the second US victory in the tournament's group stage following Sunday's win over Canada. Leading Group A with four points, the US now looks poised to advance to the second round of competition, known as the Super 8, with matches against India and Ireland still to come. "I'm really proud of the boys," US captain and player of the match Monank Patel said, per USA Today. "It's a big achievement beating Pakistan and playing for the first time." It's all the more impressive as "cricket is far from a mainstream sport in the US," per CNN. The US automatically qualified for the tournament underway in Dallas, Texas, as a co-host alongside the West Indies. There's been little talk of the US team in a tournament in which India, Australia, and England are considered favorites.

But "given the Americans' solid form throughout their April matchups and upset victory over Pakistan on Thursday, expectations about how far they can go in this year's T20 World Cup could be changing," per Forbes. "Credit to USA, they performed so well today. They were better than us in all aspects of the game," Pakistan captain Babar Azam said Thursday, per USA Today. "We didn't capitalize with the bat and they took a lot of momentum." Patel said "it was an unbelievable performance from our side," per CNN. "I would say it's a big day for Team USA and for the USA cricket community too." The US next faces India on Wednesday and Ireland on June 14. A victory over either team would likely secure the US a spot in the next round. (More cricket stories.)

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