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T20 World Cup 2024: India ride on Arshdeep, SKY to book Super 8 slot

Suryakumar made a well-judged unbeaten 50 off 49 balls and Shivam Dube a laboured to a 31 off 35 balls as India overhauled USA’s 110/8 in 18.2 overs. India ended up at 111/3.
Last Updated : 12 June 2024, 18:10 IST

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New York: This one is for the underdogs. This one is for those who were looked past. This one is for those who don’t take lightly being dismissed before they even get started.

Sure, these sentiments would have held more truth and gravitas had the United States of America defeated India in their T20 World Cup fixture on Wednesday, but the fact that they put the fear of loss on the faces of those in the Indian team was good enough while it lasted.

This game, the last of India’s commitment at the Nassau County International stadium, was playing out eerily like some of the upsets this event has witnessed so far. US’ win over Pakistan, Afghanistan’s dismissal of New Zealand. Now, this?

Only, India’s batting unit was able to put aside the problematic surface and get to 111 for 3 from 18.2 overs in pursuit of 111. With this win, India have assured their spot in the Super eight, having accumulated six points from three games.

After they lost Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli with 15 runs on the board, the voice went out of the largely Indian fanbase. That anxiety from the 31,000-odd people was palpable, and it only grew thicker when Rishabh Pant (18) was dismissed.

And Saurabh Netravalkar (2/13) was quickly gaining worldwide acclaim. Turns out, left-arm seamers - Arshdeep Singh had figures of 4-0-9-4 - would have a fine day.

Now, it was down to Suryakumar Yadav (50 n.o.) and Shivam Dube (31 n.o.) to get the job done. It wasn’t the most aesthetic of alliances because Dube couldn’t fetch a run for most of his knock, but once he got hold of one six, and Suryakumar switched it up, India cruised.

The crowd wouldn’t be denied a jolly farewell from the metal circus in Long Island.

But, not long ago, America’s bravado in the face of one of the best bowling line-ups in the tournament was visual confirmation of the fact that they didn’t come here to assist in a head count.

They were really out there to show that their win over Pakistan from a few days ago was not a flash in the pan, nor the fact that they’re second on the Group A table behind India.

Of course, losing Shayan Jahangir off the first ball of the day was less than ideal, but the likes of Steven Taylor (24), Nitish Kumar (27) and Corey Anderson kept their wits about them when they could have easily fallen in line, cornered themselves, given in.

In fact, America’s batters did what Pakistan should have on Sunday against India. Babar Azam’s men were in a fine position in pursuit of 120, but instead of pushing the ball about in the near-run-a-ball chase, they tried forcing their hand and ended up mucking it.

The US played within their limitations and looked good doing it: rotating strike, playing out the good deliveries, and stretching their arms when the lengths were lax. Also, they benefitted from the shorter boundaries behind the ’keeper as a fair few edges flew over.

That pitch, the one which seemed rather docile in the first innings, was suddenly all sorts of trouble when the Indians came on. While Kohli was undone by his inability to keep his hands to himself, Rohit couldn’t do much with a sticky ball, and Pant was bowled by a grounder.

Besides, Suryakumar got hammered on his gloves a couple of times, and when that wasn’t happening, he was dunking himself down to stop the ball from crawling under his bat and onto the stumps.

It was not fun out there, but after being dropped - a tough chance - by Netravalkar, he still got into it and got it done, a task made somewhat easier by the US’ poor over rate which led them to concede five crucial runs.

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Published 12 June 2024, 18:10 IST

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