Cricket

T20 World Cup: The American Dream Enters Super 8 Stage - Check How USA Scripted History

Grouped with last T20 World Cup's runner up Pakistan and semifinalist India, it seemed the American dream would be over as soon as it starts, in the very first round

AP/Julio Cortez
United States' Aaron Jones reacts after winning the men's T20 World Cup cricket match between the United States and Canada at Grand Prairie Stadium, in Grand Prairie, Texas. Photo: AP/Julio Cortez
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Ahead of the opening game of the T20 World Cup 2024 between USA and Canada, Aaron Jones, the middle order star of the American team, had vowed that his side will leave it all on the field. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

“We want to leave everything out there on the park. If we come out on top, it's great. If we don't come out on top, that's how cricket goes sometimes. But we don't want to regret anything,” Jones said ahead of the tournament opener.

The statement reflected the confidence of the USA side. On their debut in T20 World Cup, not many gave the team much chance ahead of the tournament.

Grouped with last T20 World Cup's runner up Pakistan and semifinalist India, it seemed the American dream would be over as soon as it starts, in the very first round. With another Test-playing nation Ireland also in the fray, things were only going to get tougher for the co-hosts.

However, Jones, who has been a batting lynchpin in the US side for a long time now, knew that this team was special.

After a washout in Lauderhill, Florida on Friday against Ireland, USA joined India to become the second and final team from Group A to advance to the Super 8 stage. But do not make the mistake of thinking that it is the washout that pushed USA to the next stage. It is what they did before the Florida washout.

Pre-Tournament Alert

The US cricket team under skipper Monank Patel had already sent alert across the cricket world that they were not going to be pushovers. After beating Canada 4-0 at home, they defeated Bangladesh twice in two T20Is and then fielded a second string side in the third game as if to show they are at the same level as others.

Aaron Jones Show

In the opening match, USA were up against Canada and the match looked like slipping out of the hands of America but then entered Aaron Jones. The right-hander smashed 10 sixes, second most in a T20 World Cup match, and scored 94 not out of just 40 deliveries. His innings ensured that USA won the match by seven wickets to earn a victory on debut.

Catching The Big Fish!

Dominating Canada and upstaging Bangladesh was not enough, USA had eyes on the big fish - Pakistan, one of the most consistent teams in the T20 World Cup.

It took some effort to catch the big fish. The match went into the Super Over and ultimately the Americans won the battle of nerves courtesty Saurabh Netravalkar. The low-scoring battle in New York earned them the biggest win of their small but significant cricketing career. This win is the reason why they are into the Super 8s and Pakistan are not.

Netravalkar was the hero with his fantastic Super Over and the left-arm pacer continued his heroics in the next game too.

Never Give Up!

Defending just 111, USA needed wickets upfront and Netravalkar continued from where he left against Pakistan. He dismissed Virat Kohli for his first T20 World Cup Duck and then got Rohit Sharma out cheaply too. His double blow helped USA fight in the game against India which they eventually lost.

The never give up attitude in the match again underlined that this team is not just a one-time wonder. This is actually a good team that can take down the best on their day.

Here To Stay

Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Pakistan and Ireland are the four Test-playing nations that would not make the cut to the Super 8s, where USA have and that too in their debut tournament. This is as big an achievement as there ever has been for any associate nation.

Team USA might not win the trophy but they have already triumphed.

What Next?

USA will be in Group B of the Super 8s and will rub shoulders with West Indies, South Africa and one of England or Scotland.

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