‘Big day for team’: US skipper says on defeating experienced Pakistan team

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DNA

Commenting on eclipsing mighty and experienced Pakistan cricket team in Dallas, USA captain Monank Patel said it was a big day for his team as defeating Green Shirts in the World Cup was a monumental achievement.

“Our players were always hopeful (of a victory). We planned to bowl first after winning the toss as we expected the batting to be difficult in the beginning,” Patel said addressing post-match press conference.

He said the US team played tremendous cricket to put Pakistan into pressure.

The Pakistan-USA match ended in a thrilling Super Over last night, with the hosts winning by five runs. During the Super Over, Mohammad Amir bowled first, and the USA scored 18-1. The Green Shirts could only manage 13-1 in its response at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas.

Talking to media persons, Pakistan captain Babar Azam acknowledged the team’s shortcomings in their first match of the T20 World Cup 2024.

The 29-year-old skipper said: “We failed to capitalise in the first six overs. Back-to-back wickets always put you on the back foot, as a batter you need to step up and build partnerships.”

Babar noted that the initial six overs were challenging, but the team managed a comeback. However, the momentum was lost again due to the quick dismissal of wickets. “My partnership with Shadab was promising, but then two wickets fell. And we lost momentum again,” he explained.

He emphasised the need for improvement in the middle order and bowling, saying, “Our score was adequate for this pitch, but we need to enhance our bowling.”

The captain also highlighted that the bowlers didn’t perform well in the first six overs and stressed the importance of improving for upcoming matches.

Addressing the performance of the spinners, Babar remarked, “Our spinners did not take wickets in the middle overs, so these things cost us.”

He also acknowledged the US team’s superior performance in all departments of the game, adding, “All credit to the US, they played better than us in all three departments.”

Earlier, India-born left-arm pacer Saurabh Netravalkar took 2-18 as Pakistan scored 159/7.

US innings ended dramatically when Nitish Kumar hit a four off a last-ball full toss from Haris Rauf as the tournament co-hosts, who had beaten Canada in their opening match, finished on 159-3.

Veteran Amir was entrusted with the Super Over but bowled several wides, with panic fielding leading to wild overthrows, also helping the US score 18 runs.

Netravalkar bowled a wide with the third ball of his Super Over but with the next delivery, he had Iftikhar Ahmed brilliantly caught low down in the deep by Kumar.

With seven needed off the last ball, Shadab Khan was unable to manage the six that would have forced a second Super Over.