PAK Vs USA, T20 WC: 'Pressure Was On Pakistan, Knew Crowd Support Would Backfire', Says Monank Patel

The home side, USA threw a surprise by handing the responsibility of bowling the Super Over to Saurabh Netravalkar instead of the more pedigreed Ali Khan

Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh celebrate after winning the super over against Pakistan. Photo: T20WorldCup/X

After scripting a win for the ages against Pakistan, USA captain Monank Patel said his team did not feel any pressure during the nerve-wracking Super Over as the crowd was mostly behind Babar Azam's men, which ended up backfiring on the visiting side in their T20 World Cup clash in Dallas, Texas. (Highlights|Scorecard|Full Coverage)

Patel made a composed 50 as co-hosts USA shocked 2009 champions Pakistan via Super Over in Dallas on Thursday.

"I thought we should have finished the game (in regular time) and we should have never gone to Super Over. I mean the way we kept our nerves…and in the Super Over particularly, scoring 18 runs gave us a big upper hand to defend the target," Patel said in the post-match press conference.

So, what was the talk inside the team huddle at that crucial juncture? Were there any queasy stomachs?

"In the huddle we talked about - there's no pressure for us. All the pressure is in front of Pakistan. We knew that we didn't have enough support from the crowd. Pakistan had more support from the crowd.

"I thought it will backfire on them, and if we play good cricket, they'll be more under pressure," said Patel.

Patel, who was born in Anand, Gujarat, said his side bowled brilliantly in the Power Play segment and kept Pakistan batters on a tight leash.

"The way we bowled in the first six overs, I felt we didn't give them enough opportunity to score runs and we kept them under more pressure and it helped us," he said.

Patel said USA were always in the game once they restricted Pakistan to 159.

"The plan was to win the toss and bowl first. We knew the initial first half an hour would help pace bowlers and the way we kept them quiet and took the crucial wickets in the power play, it helped really well.

"And yeah, 160 on this wicket with one side short boundary, I felt we were always in the game," he explained.

The home side threw a surprise by handing the responsibility of bowling the Super Over to Saurabh Netravalkar instead of the more pedigreed Ali Khan.

But the left-arm pacer successfully defended 18 runs to guide his side to a memorable victory.

"The plan was we wanted to make sure that we utilise the condition. The condition was left-arm bowler bowling cutters and wide yorkers from left-arm over.

"Ali Khan usually hits the stump and we wanted to make sure that we make them play outside the off-stump. And as a left-hander, the angle helps it. Saurabh had a good day, and I backed Saurabh, and yeah, that was the decision," he explained.

The USA also made a rather surprising decision to hold back a natural range-hitter like Corey Anderson and promoted Nitish Kumar up the order in the regulation time.

Patel said they wanted to keep Anderson for the last three overs.

"As a player he (Nitish) always thinks about the team first and I felt when I got out, I think it was 14th over or something. Nitish, the way he's batting, we wanted to back him.

"We wanted to make sure that even if the wicket goes, obviously, Corey was going next. We wanted to keep Corey in the last three overs. That was the plan," said Patel.