Pakistan World Cup T20 campaign got off to the worst possible start as the debutant US stunned the green shirts in the Super Over to leave them on the brink of an early exit from the mega event as back-to-back failures resulted in defeat on Thursday in Dallas.

Pakistan got two opportunities to win the day first in scheduled play where the US successfully scored 15 runs in Haris Rauf’s 20th over to take the match into the Super Over. Then came the turn of fielding misses and poor bowling from Muhammad Amir to concede 18 of Super Over that was well beyond the reach of Iftikhar Ahmad, Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan. The US ultimately won by 5 runs in Super Over to push the 2022 finalist on the brink of an early exit. One more defeat from the next three outings and Pakistan will be sent packing.

“Nothing went well for us. Failure with the bat early and our inability to take wickets at the early stages in the US innings resulted in defeat. We still have a chance but now it a bit tough,” dejected Pakistan captain Babar Azam said.

It all started in the US innings’ 20th over where they required 15 to win, resulted in the Super Over. Pakistan were favourites to win the game going into the final over. Haris conceded four and a six on full toss deliveries to help the US take the game to Super Over as both teams were tied at 159 following 20 overs of exciting cricket. Monak Patel (50) and Andries Gous with a 64 runs second wicket stand laid the US innings foundation in an effort to chase down 160 runs winning total. “It was the best victory we have ever achieved. I am glad my runs came to the team’s help. We planned for this victory and achieved that,” Man of the Match Monak Patel said.

Earlier, when Pakistan started the innings it was left to Babar and Shadab Khan (40) to mend the situation when the third wicket fell at 26 in the fifth over. Fakhar Zaman (11) missed out on a forced sweep to offer Taylor an easy chance in Ali Khan’s very first over. Even before that Pakistan’s start was terrible losing two quick wickets with just 14 on the board. Both put on 72 runs for the fourth wicket before Shadab could not clear pacer Netravalkar off an attempted lofted sweep of Nosthush Kenjige. Azam Khan’s lazy stroke gave spinner Kenjige (3-30) his third wicket. Azam lazily hanged his bat without getting into the line to be adjudged leg before wicket. Azam’s wicket left Pakistan in dire straits at 98 for 5. Babar’s 43-ball, 44 runs knock was also culminated by a leg before wicket decision.

By that time, he had struck three fours and two sixes. Pakistan captain started his innings carefully managing just five runs during his first 17 balls before opening up in the company of Shadab. Both put on 72 runs in just eight over to give much-needed impetus to the innings. Shadab’s innings of 25-ball 40 runs was probably the best of the lot. Some long handle used by Shaheen Afridi (23 not out) including two sixes and one fours saw Pakistan settling down for a chase-able 159 for 7.

At the outset of the Pakistan innings, Kenjige was struck for six by Mohammad Rizwan (9). Left-arm pacer Saurabh Netravalkar struck in the next over as he was taken up at slip by Taylor in what could be termed a possibly the best catch of the tournament so far. His one-hand diving catch stunned many present at the ground.

Score in brief: Pakistan 159 for 7 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 44, Shadab Khan 40, Shaheen Shah Afridi 23 not out, Nosthush Kenjige 3-30, Saurabh Netravalkar 2-18)

USA (Monak Patel 50, Andries Gous 35, Mohammad Amir 1-25, Naseem Shah 1-26)

Super Over: The US 18 for no loss of Mohammad Amir (Extras 10)

Pakistan 13 for 1 of Saurabh Netravalkar’s Super Over

Result: US won by five runs

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