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Mumbaikar Guides USA To Stun Pakistan

June 07, 2024 09:31 IST
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Saurabh Netravalkar

IMAGE: Saurabh Netravalkar's heroics in the Super Over truly cemented his legend. Photograph: Kind courtesy ICC/

The Grand Prairie stadium in Dallas witnessed a historic night under Monank Patel's captaincy.

Spearheaded by pace sensation Saurabh Netravalkar, underdog USA stunned tournament favourites Pakistan in a thrilling encounter.

Netravalkar, a 32-year-old left-arm quick, became an instant social media star. Fans drew comparisons between his disciplined bowling and pivotal role in the win, to Akshay Kumar's character in the movie Patiala House.

His impressive four over spell (2/18) kept the Pakistan batting line-up in check throughout their innings. But it was his heroics in the Super Over that truly cemented his legend.

Defending a modest 18 runs against Pakistan's big-hitters, Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed, Netravalkar displayed nerves of steel. He conceded only 13 runs, securing a historic victory for the USA.

This win held a special significance for Netravalkar. Born in Mumbai in 1991, he played for the Indian U-19 team in the 2010 World Cup. Fourteen years later, he returned to haunt Pakistan's dreams, just before their high-voltage clash against India.

Saurabh Netravalkar

Unable to find opportunities in India's competitive cricketing scene, Netravalkar's cricketing journey took an unexpected turn in 2015. He moved to the USA, where he found a chance to represent a developing cricketing nation.

Juggling his passion for cricket with a demanding career as a senior software engineer at Oracle, Netravalkar carved a unique path. His unwavering determination allowed him to excel in both. And on the grand stage of the T20 World Cup 2024, he played a pivotal role in scripting history for the USA.

Saurabh Netravalkar

Netravalkar was a key player in Pakistan's downfall. He orchestrated their collapse in the Powerplay, dismissing Mohammad Rizwan and troubling skipper Babar Azam with his precise swing bowling. This early dominance restricted Pakistan to a paltry 30/3.

Netravalkar returned later in the innings to inflict further damage. He dismissed the in-form Iftikhar Ahmed with a well-directed low full toss in the 19th over, restricting Pakistan to a total of 159/7.

Saurabh Netravalkar

Although Pakistan fought back with their pace attack, Nitish Kumar's last ball boundary forced the match into a thrilling Super Over. This is where Netravalkar rose to the occasion once again.

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