Jun 6, 2024 - News

U.S. tops Pakistan in epic cricket upset

A sign welcoming cricket fans to Texas.

International cricket fans swarmed to Texas to watch the Men's T20 World Cup. Photo: Naheed "Historic" Rajwani-Dharsi

One of the biggest upsets in cricket history happened in North Texas Thursday: The less-experienced U.S. team defeated cricket superpower Pakistan.

Why it matters: It's perhaps an American national team's most stunning upset since the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" over the Soviet Union.

The big picture: The U.S. is having a cricket moment. The Men's T20 World Cup is being played here for the first time.

  • The U.S. team features many players who don't play the sport full-time. A hero of the Pakistan win, Saurabh Netravalkar, works at software company Oracle.

The latest: The U.S., which qualified for the World Cup for the first time because it's a host country, has won both of its matches.

  • After cruising to victory over Canada on Saturday, the U.S. took Pakistan into a tie-breaking "super over" and won by five runs.

State of play: Thousands of fans packed Grand Prairie Stadium, which is hosting four of the World Cup matches.

  • The U.S. fan base was outnumbered, but many fans cheered for both teams to show support for their home country and the country that has become their home.
A view from the stands at Grand Prairie Stadium for the cricket World Cup
Grand Prairie Stadium was packed with spectators. Photo: Naheed "Fangirling'" Rajwani-Dharsi

The intrigue: In just a few years, the dormant minor league baseball stadium has transformed into a thriving cricket venue filled with loud, excited fans.

  • It's smaller than most cricket stadiums, with a capacity of just 8,000 instead of tens of thousands.

Yes, but: Daytime matches are brutal. Most of the seats have no shade.

  • Temperatures surpassed 90 degrees over the course of the match Thursday, with many fans seeking cover under the scoreboard and near bathrooms.

Zoom in: Derrick Boxill flew in from Houston to watch the match. He didn't care that his family's favorite, the West Indies, wasn't playing.

  • "Seeing the game advance to where we are today is amazing. This game is only going to grow bigger and bigger," Boxill tells Axios. "There's love all around the world for this sport."

What's next: Grand Prairie Stadium will host one more World Cup match at 7:30pm today, with Sri Lanka playing Bangladesh.

  • The U.S. plays India on Wednesday in New York.
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