US cricket team makes history - it advances to Super Eights at Twenty20 World Cup debut at Pakistan's expense

Fans of the United States cricket team cheer before an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between the United States and Ireland at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Fla., Friday, June 14, 2024. The match was abandoned due to rain. - AP

LAUDERHILL, Fla. (AP): The United States cricket team made more history by reaching the second round in its Twenty20 World Cup debut after its last group game against Ireland was washed out on Friday.

Rain meant the match at Broward County Stadium was abandoned without a ball bowled, advancing the Americans to the Super Eight stage and automatically qualifying them for the 2026 Twenty20 World Cup in India and Sri Lanka.

The US qualified for this T20 World Cup only as a co-host with the West Indies, but it has used home advantage to make a stunning first impression in its first major cricket tournament.

While the Americans progressed alongside unbeaten India from Group A, former champion Pakistan and winless Ireland were eliminated from Super Eight contention.

Pakistan won the title in 2009 and reached two more finals, including at the last T20 World Cup in 2022. Pakistan has failed to get out of the group stage for the first time. Ireland was expected to be a threat, too. The Irish also reached the second round on debut in 2009 and repeated in 2022.

The competition point from the washout was enough for the U.S. to advance after beating Canada in Texas and stunning Pakistan in Texas during the first week.

Tying Pakistan in regular overs then beating it in a super over was one of the greatest upsets in the tournament's history.

The Americans were thumped by India, one of the title favorites, as expected on Wednesday but the hosts' progression without being able to play on Friday was still well deserved.

The umpires made four inspections of the wet outfield before heavy rain arrived at around 1:30 p.m. local time and the match was called off three hours after its scheduled start.

The 17th-ranked U.S. joined the West Indies, India, Australia, South Africa and Afghanistan in the Super Eight, with two more teams yet to qualify. The Super Eight starting on Wednesday splits into two groups, with each team guaranteed three games to try and reach the semifinals.

At Kingstown, St Vincent, Nepal won the toss and chose to bowl in its later match against Group D leaders South Africa, the first international match between the teams.

South Africa already has qualified for the Super Eight stage after winning its first three matches against the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. South Africa's first match in the Super Eight playoffs is next Wednesday against the U.S. in Antigua.

Nepal lost to the Netherlands in its opening match and its second match against Sri Lanka was rained out, meaning this will be its first game in 10 days. It is also the first match at the tournament to be played in St. Vincent.

Nepal captain Rauhit Praudel said he elected to bowl first to take advantage of easier batting conditions in the second innings. Proteas captain Aiden Markram said he would have chosen to bat first.

For the first time at the tournament, Nepal has been able to select its leading player Sandeep Lamichhane. Lamichhane was convicted of rape in January and sentenced to eight years in jail. But his conviction was overturned in May by the Nepal High Court.

His application for a visa to travel with the Nepal squad to the United States was rejected. But he has been able to join the team in St. Vincent, bringing the Nepal squad up to its full complement of 15 players in the Caribbean.

At Tarouba, Trinidad, New Zealand won the toss and chose to bowl in a Group C match against Uganda. The West Indies and Bangladesh already have taken the two Super Eight qualifying spots available from the group.

New Zealand lost its first two matches at the tournament to Bangladesh and the West Indies and can no longer qualify. It sits at the bottom of the group behind Uganda which has two points from a win over Papua New Guinea.

New Zealand’s failure at this tournament ends a run of success at white ball World Cups. It has reached at least the semifinals of the last six white-ball world tournaments over the last decade. - AP

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US , T20 , Cricket , world Cup , Into Super Eights


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