T20 World Cup: USA cricket team shocks Pakistan in Texas

T20 World Cup: USA cricket team shocks Pakistan in Texas

For cricket to break America, it needed something special.

It needed drama, entertainment, high-quality skill and a little bit of chaos thrown in.

So when the co-hosts of the T20 World Cup stunned former champions Pakistan in Texas in a super-over showpiece for the ages, cricket had delivered.

The United States played their first T20 international in 2019, are competing in their first World Cup and were playing Pakistan for the first time.

They are ranked 18th in the world behind Nepal and the UAE.

Pakistan reached the final of this competition the last time it was played in 2022 and won it in 2009.

This was not supposed to happen, but this is the land of opportunity. And this was Texas, where everything is bigger.

“Beating Pakistan is a big achievement,” said US captain Monank Patel. “It’s a big day for Team USA. Not just for USA, for the USA cricket community too.”

Over in New York, where the tournament’s other matches are being staged, the slow pitches have dominated the discussions and produced low-scoring, drab affairs.

But Texas has provided the fireworks; the blueprint to show that cricket in the States can work and it can be brilliant.

And all this in the backyard of the NFL’s most valuable team, the Dallas Cowboys.

Aaron Jones’ 10 sixes kick-started the tournament in style in the opener against Canada, before a collective team effort of unity, spirit and nerves of steel helped them over the line against Pakistan.

“I’ve got shivers down my spine,” said former Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate on BBC Test Match Special.

“Coming from an associate nation myself, I know how difficult this is.

“But what a memorable day and a shot in the arm for USA cricket. If you ever wanted a marketing tool to show Americans what this great game is about, this is it.”

This could prove to be a game that changes the sport as we know it stateside, which is home to one of the world’s newest and most glamourous T20 franchise leagues, Major League Cricket, and where the sport will make its reappearance at the Olympic Games in LA in 2028.

“Beating Pakistan in the World Cup is going to open many doors for us,” added Monank.

“Hosting the World Cup in the USA and performing here as a team, it helps us to grow the cricket in the USA.”

Pakistan are one of 12 full member nations of the International Cricket Council while the USA are an associate member.

This means, like 93 other countries, they are recognised by the sport’s governing body but do not play Test matches.

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