Arshdeep shines bright, India reach Super Eights

Arshdeep was the pick of the Indian bowlers. (PC:

That the United States wouldn’t be pulling off an upset was confirmed in the very first over, when Arshdeep Singh picked up two wickets. The very first ball of the match, after Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to field, accounted for Shayan Jahangir. In the final delivery of that over, Arshdeep removed Andries Gous. From 3-2, it was always going to be an uphill climb for the hosts to put a decent total on the board. They could only manage 110-8, which India knocked off in 18.2 overs to win by seven wickets and reach Super Eights.

The T20 World Cup 2024 bade adieu to New York on Wednesday and India maintained their all-win record at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, including their victory in the warm-up fixture against Bangladesh. Pitches at this venue started to play a little better over the course of time, but fast bowlers still had enough purchase if they bowled in the right areas.

Arshdeep was right on the money to start with. He bent the ball back from off to middle on a length and trapped Jahangir leg-before. Last year, during the World Cup qualifiers (50-over format), Jahangir reportedly had spoken about his “ultimate goal”, that he wanted to show Virat Kohli there was “another batter on the block”. He returned for a golden duck.

Arshdeep moved the ball in but dragged his length back to get the wicket of Gous. The batsman was in no position to play the pull shot, and Hardik Pandya ran across from mid-off to take the catch.

Arshdeep bowled two overs in his first spell and his figures read: 2-0-4-2. He bagged another couple at the death to return with 4-9 from his four overs – his career-best in T20Is. On a day when Jasprit Bumrah hardly got out of the second gear, the left-arm quick starred for India.

Monank Patel, the man from Anand, Gujarat, and the USA’s regular captain, had a dream of playing against India. A niggle robbed him of that, and Aaron Jones led the side instead. Jones is the most powerful hitter in this US team, but against disciplined Indian bowling, he, too, was subdued. Only 18 runs were scored in the Powerplay.

In fact, the US’ batting was anodyne enough for Rohit to give Shivam Dube a bowl. His only over accounted for 11 runs, with Nitish Kumar taking a four and Steven Taylor hitting a maximum. Taylor and Kumar were trying to build a partnership, but the former inside-edged an Axar Patel delivery onto the stumps.

Nitish, the USA’s top-scorer with 27, hit a four and a six off a Pandya over. But a Mohammed Siraj stunner at deep mid-wicket sent him packing. He was Arshdeep’s third scalp. Contributions from Corey Anderson and Harmeet Singh towards the end saw their team get past the 100-run mark.

India lost Kohli in the first over in their reply, the batsman pushing at a back-of-a-length delivery from Saurabh Netravalkar that was leaving him. Kohli departed without opening his account and it was his third successive failure in this tournament, opening the innings.

For Netravalkar, the man from Mumbai, Rohit’s scalp was a double whammy. The India captain was out for three and his team slipped to 10-2 in the third over. There was a bit of a scare. Probably even more so for the Pakistani fans across the border, as their team’s survival at the T20 World Cup depended on India winning this game.

Some overs later, with India on 58-3, Netravalkar dropped a sitter off Shadley van Schalkwyk to give Suryakumar Yadav a reprieve. The batsman was on 22 then. He went on to score 50 not out off 49 balls. The miss proved to be costly. Netravalkar learnt it the hard way that this game is a great leveller.

A 29-run third wicket partnership between Rishabh Pant and Surya put India’s chase back on track before Pant became a victim of uneven bounce. He could do nothing to a grubber from Ali Khan that breached his defence.

India stuck to Dube at No. 5 and after a very uncertain start, the left-hand batter finally started to connect the ball properly. He remained unbeaten on 31 off 35 balls and his unbroken 67-run fourth wicket partnership with Surya took India home. This innings under pressure will give Dube a lot of confidence.

Stop-clock penalty

Meanwhile, the US were hit with first-ever stop-clock penalty, as they failed to start their 16th over within a minute of the previous over ending. It was the third time they failed to do that and five runs were added to India’s total as a penalty.