• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

CRICKET

Pakistan on brink of T20 WC exit as rain gods threaten US-Ireland clash

Match officials inspect the ground as it rains heavily before the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 Group D cricket match between Sri Lanka and Nepal at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, on June 11, 2024. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE United States, one of the co-hosts of the ongoing T20 cricket World Cup and the team of the tournament with their stupendous show with wins over Canada and Pakistan, will look to make history on Friday (14) when they take on low-placed Ireland in their final match of Group A.

India have already qualified from the group for the Super Eight stage while the US and Pakistan remain in contention for the second place. Canada, with one win, and Ireland, who are yet to win a game, are also in the race but more academically.

If the US lose their game against Ireland and Pakistan win against Ireland on Sunday (16), Babar Azam’s side will have a decent chance of making the last eight since they have a better net run-rate than the US.

Read: Afghanistan crush PNG to make T20 World Cup Super 8; NZ crash out

But the problem lies with the weather gods. Lauderhill in Florida, where the last three games of the group, including that between India and Canada on Saturday (15), is currently experiencing heavy rain and flooding and the governor of Florida has even announced a “state of emergency”.

As per Accuweather, there is 98 per cent of downpour at Central Broward Park on Friday where the match is scheduled. Even though there was some dry phase on Thursday (13), the match hours on Friday are expected to see 74 per cent rainfall. Thunderstorms are also expected during the day.

Read: India tame a spirited US to advance to Super 8 in T20 World Cup 2024

If the US-Ireland match gets washed out, Pakistan will be knocked out since one point from the game would mean the co-hosts reaching five points, beyond the maximum Pakistan can reach (four). The match between Pakistan and Ireland becomes irrelevant in that case.

The US defeated Canada by six wickets in the first match, comfortably chasing a 190-plus score, while against Pakistan, they produced a solid performance and won the game in the Super Over with India-born Saurabh Netravalkar bowling the winning over. Pakistan also lost a game they looked favourites to win against arch-rivals India, failing to score 120 runs in as many balls, and lost by six runs.

Pakistan beat Canada comprehensively in their third game while the US lost to India after giving a tough fight in their third.

Yet, it looks like qualifying for the Super Eight is a task too difficult for Pakistan to accomplish now.

On June 11, the game in Lauderhill between Sri Lanka and Nepal got washed out as a result of which the islanders were virtually eliminated from the tournament.

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