Monank’s fifty, coupled with Kenjige’s three-fer led USA to a thrilling super-over victory over Pakistan

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Monank Patel’s strategic decision to bowl first proved fruitful for the USA, as they quickly dismantled Pakistan’s opening partnership. Saurabh Netravalkar struck early, removing Mohammad Rizwan in just the second over. Pakistan’s troubles deepened with the loss of Usman Khan and Fakhar Zaman within the powerplay.

However, Babar Azam and Shadab Khan steadied the innings, guiding Pakistan to 93/3 in 12 overs with a crucial 72-run partnership. Just as Pakistan seemed to be regaining their footing, Nosthush Kenjige delivered a double blow, dismissing Shadab and Azam Khan in consecutive balls in the 13th over, leaving Pakistan at a precarious 98/5.

Babar Azam continued to anchor the innings, scoring 44 off 43 balls before falling in the 16th over with the score at 125/6. Shaheen Shah Afridi added valuable runs with a quick 16 off 23 balls towards the end, helping Pakistan post a total of 159/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

The United States openers, Monank Patel and Steven Taylor, got off to a strong start, reaching 36/0 in five overs. Taylor’s innings was cut short by Naseem Shah in the sixth over. Monank, along with Andries Gous, built a steady 40-run partnership, bringing the score to 76/1 in 10 overs.

The pair laid the groundwork for a potential upset against Pakistan, with Monank reaching a well-crafted fifty off 34 balls. The 68-run stand between Monank and Gous was broken in the 14th over by Haris Rauf, who bowled Gous with a well-directed good-length delivery.

With 49 runs required from the last six overs, the pressure was on Monank and Aaron Jones to see the USA through. A pivotal moment came when Mohammad Amir dismissed Monank, shifting the momentum back to Pakistan. With 28 runs needed off the final three overs, Jones and Nitish Kumar kept their cool, reducing the requirement to 15 runs in the last over.

In a nail-biting finish, the packed Dallas crowd watched as Jones and Kumar scored 14 runs off the final over, tying the match and forcing a super over. Babar Azam entrusted Mohammad Amir with the crucial super over, but the USA’s Aaron Jones and Harmeet Singh capitalized on Amir’s lackluster bowling and Pakistan’s sloppy fielding, scoring 18/1.

In response, Pakistan faced a tough challenge, with Iftikhar’s dismissal adding to their woes. Netravalkar bowled a brilliant over, restricting Pakistan to 13/1. The USA emerged victorious in the super over, clinching the contest in a thrilling finish.

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