T20 WC: Made-in-Mumbai Netravalkar stuns Pakistan

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 07, 2024 IST

Saurabh Netravalkar

Dallas (USA), June 7: Hardly anyone expected such a huge upset in an early phase of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024. But Pakistan again had to face the destiny of losing an ICC World Cup match to a performer of Indian origin.

No, it was not Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah or Mohd Siraj, but a Mumbai-born cricketer, who engineered the USA to their maiden major victory in an ICC multi-nation tourney. 

In a stunning display at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024, Mumbai-born pacer Saurabh Netravalkar left an indelible mark on cricket history, propelling the co-hosts USA to a remarkable victory over 2009 champions and 2022 runners-up Pakistan, at Grand Prairie Stadium here on Thursday.

Tasked with defending 18 runs in the Super Over, the cricketer-turned-engineer defied all expectations, delivering a spellbinding performance that shattered the hopes of countless Pakistani fans.

The rivalry between Netravalkar and Babar Azam, dating back to the 2010 U19 World Cup where Babar's Pakistan team defeated Netravalkar's India in the quarterfinal, added a poignant layer to the victory.

Fourteen years later, Netravalkar, now a linchpin of the USA team, orchestrated a poetic turnaround, leading his team to triumph over Babar's Pakistan in the T20 World Cup.

Netravalkar's journey began in Mumbai, India, where his passion for cricket surpassed even the city's vibrant lights. Despite facing stiff competition in the cricket-crazed nation, he chose to explore opportunities beyond India's borders.

Finding his niche in the United States, Netravalkar embraced the challenge of representing a nation where cricket was still finding its place. His unique left-arm pace and towering stature made him a formidable opponent, often leaving batters baffled and stumps rattled.

However, his journey was fraught with challenges. Balancing his cricketing aspirations with his career as a Senior Software Engineer at Oracle demanded relentless dedication. Yet, Netravalkar's unwavering commitment to both pursuits propelled him forward.

On the day of the crucial match against Pakistan, Netravalkar entered the field with determination, having already showcased promise in earlier games. Despite Pakistan's imposing target, the USA matched their score, leading to a nail-biting Super Over.

In the high-pressure situation, Netravalkar showcased his true grit, limiting Pakistan to a mere 13 runs and securing a pivotal wicket. His heroics paved the way for a historic victory for USA.

As Pakistan regroup and gear up to face Team India on June 9 in New York, it is expected that both sides will be keen to win the Indo-Pak high octane battle on Super Sunday. (With IANS support)

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  • T20 World Cup 2024

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