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Bumrah pushes Pakistan to brink of elimination

June 11, 2024 00:00:00

India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrating the dismissal of Pakistan's captain Babar Azam during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Westbury, New York, on Sunday — AP

Pakistan's heartbreaking Men's T20 Cricket World Cup continued as it succumbed to a dramatic six-run defeat against archrival India on Sunday following its shock loss to the USA earlier in the week, report agencies.

After these two defeats, Pakistan's progression in this tournament rests on a knife edge, dependent on the USA's results, who now have a golden chance to make the knockout stages.

As things stand in Group A in the T20 World Cup 2024, Pakistan are currently in fourth place, behind India, USA and Canada. The Babar Azam-led side will have to win their two remaining matches against Canada and Ireland while hoping that United States and Canada do not win any more games. They will also hope that none of their matches get washed out by rain.

Even if Pakistan win both of their matches and United States lose their two remaining games, the qualification to the Super 8 stage will come down to Net Run Rate (NRR). Both sides will have 4 points from 4 matches and Pakistan will need several results to go their way.

Pakistan can get to a maximum of 4 points now, which India and USA have already achieved. With India set to take on Canada and USA now, they will exceed that points tally.

Pakistan needs USA to lose both their upcoming matches against Ireland and India apart from winning their own matches.

If they manage to do that, Pakistan will be locked on 4 points with USA. However, USA has a good NRR already (0.626) and Pakistan needs to hope that comes down and their own NRR goes up.

Such a scenario seemed unlikely for most of the match as India set a relatively low score of 119 all out and Pakistan began its run chase with composure, but key wickets lost at crucial times consigned it to a damaging defeat.

Often described as one of the greatest sporting grudge matches in the world, an India-Pakistan cricket match is always bound up in the geopolitical faultlines that separate the two nations.

They only play each other in international tournaments, and such was the level of excitement that on the morning of the game, it cost a minimum of $2,500 for a seat at the Nassau County International Stadium in New York.

Security, including monitoring the fence line, checking cars and patrolling using horses and drones, was increased ahead of the match, with a Nassau County official telling CNN that an earlier threat by terror group ISIS-K was considered credible until proven otherwise.

Rain delayed the start of the match by almost an hour and the sky was still gloomy when India's opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and ViratKohli walked out onto the crease.

Rohit heaved the third ball into the stands for six to get India's innings off to the best possible start, but they were forced to leave the field after just one over to take cover from another rain shower.

It seemed that India would continue where the opening pair had left off when Kohli opened his account with a glorious cover drive for four, but he was out just two balls later.

And Pakistan landed a hammer blow in the next over when Rohit hit the ball straight to HarisRauf off Shaheen Afridi, removing both of India's talismanic batters in quick succession.

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