USA (197/3) defeat Canada (194/5) by 7 wickets in the opening game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024

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The T20 World Cup 2024 is set to start with a bang as the United States squares off against Canada. This opening match will take place at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas.

The USA-Canada match-up is steeped in history, dating back to their first international cricket game in 1844 at the St George’s Cricket Club in New York, making it the oldest rivalry in cricket.

The teams will be led by Monank Patel for the USA and Saad Bin Zafar for Canada. The two teams have played seven T20Is to date with the USA winning five games and Canada just two.

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Squads:

United States
Squad: Steven Taylor, Monank Patel(w/c), Andries Gous, Aaron Jones, Corey Anderson, Harmeet Singh, Nitish Kumar, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Ali Khan, Jasdeep Singh, Saurabh Netravalkar, Milind Kumar, Nisarg Patel, Nosthush Kenjige, Shayan Jahangir

Canada Squad: Aaron Johnson, Navneet Dhaliwal, Rayyan Pathan, Nicholas Kirton, Shreyas Movva(w), Dilpreet Singh, Ravinderpal Singh, Saad Bin Zafar(c), Dillon Heyliger, Jeremy Gordon, Rishiv Ragav Joshi, Junaid Siddiqui, Pargat Singh, Nikhil Dutta, Kaleem Sana

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To promote cricket in North America, they are trying to draw an analogy between the USA and Canada's rivalry as the intense rivalry between Pakistan and India.
 
Will we see a half decent crowd at the match or will it be like disaster of the first match of 2023 Odi WC ? I hope the former.
 
Land of the free: Jones and Saad vow to attack ahead of USA v Canada T20 World Cup opener

On the eve of opening day at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, North American rivals USA and Canada have both pledged an enterprising brand of cricket in the quest for early competition honours.

That was the first word that came to mind for both Canada captain Saad Bin Zafar and USA’s Aaron Jones when asked about their intention of playing style come Saturday, once the floodlights of Grand Prairie in Texas shine a light on what is a spicy North American sporting rivalry.

With spite and Super Overs - sometimes meeting in career-defining, status-shifting fixtures - the teams have traded blows in recent years.

USA played pantomime villain in World Cricket League 2 in 2019, squeezing their rivals to the north out of ODI status spots. Canada hit back in T20 World Cup qualifying pathways in the same year, though tension again came to a head when USA stole two byes to force a tie (and eventually winning a Super Over) in an Americas T20 World Cup qualifying match in 2021, leading to Canadian protestation and heated exchanges.

Three years later and Canada have since returned to the same ODI tier, and through all the throes of fiery meetings in cricketing context, players across teams enjoy a mostly friendly relationship. Of course, attention levels of the world will peak at an all-time high for this next meeting of the two at a T20 World Cup in North America, and while the pair may not be fighting for futures necessarily this time, the result is sure to live long in the memory of both teams, either in pain or glory.

On the hunt for first blood and competition points in the outskirts of Dallas, both sides have declared all-out attack.

First, American batter Jones wanting to put everything on the table, even if it means throwing the kitchen sink.

“We don't want to regret anything,” Jones professed, talking on behalf of his American teammates.

“We want to leave everything out there on the park.

“If we come out on top, it's great. If we don't come out on top, that's how cricket goes sometimes. But we don't want to regret anything.”

A ‘late run’ for T20 World Cup preparation would be underselling the Americans' last-minute scamper for the June 1 start, though results across April and May reveal a method to their madness. Keeping their cards close to their chest, the side went 21 months without a T20 International, eventually turning out for seven matches across April and May.

Questions around their potential squad make-up arose, though as rumoured inclusions became reality, the side proved themselves capable of making a mark at the upcoming tournament. The Americans brushed aside their opening match opponents 4-0 (one no-result), before a historic series win over Bangladesh 2-1 in Houston shifted conversation across cricket’s mainstream.

Working under new coach and former Australia international Stuart Law, the side have been boosted by the likes of Shadley van Schalkwyk, Harmeet Singh, Andries Gous and Corey Anderson, all now calling USA their home. Jones, a mainstay of the group for the past six years, sung the newcomers’ praises, raising competition in practice and selection discussions.

“I think that we've been challenged to be honest, but definitely we have a good squad (here at the World Cup)," he said.

“I think the guys that came into the team over the last however many weeks, they really fit in well and obviously we have a new coach (Law) now.

“He's been really good as it relates to team bonding and gelling, so the team is on the up and we're very happy to be here.”

As the hosts enjoyed their final preparations in the nets, the Canadians from the outside seemingly relished in the final moments before their debut T20 World Cup appearance.

Soaking up the tournament vibe with a light fielding session and enjoying their media day later in the afternoon, the group’s mood is quite the contrast to some of the nervy moments of Americas qualifying back in Bermuda last October, where they scraped through on the final day.

Ready to represent their country on the big stage of a global tournament, all Saad wants is clear minds from all ten of his teammates, free of inhibition.

“We have finally made it. We’re finally here," Saad said.

“Everybody's excited. Everybody's itching to go. Everybody's in the performance mood. I think we are ready to go and play some quality cricket in the next few weeks.

“We don't have a lot of pressure on our shoulders. I think we just want to go and express ourselves and play to our potential. That's the brand of cricket that we're looking to play.”

Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York may have stolen headlines from the Grand Prairie Stadium hosting the first match of the tournament, though now is the perfect time to see its time in the searing Texas sun.

The purpose-built cricket ground was converted from a Minor League Baseball stadium in 2020, a facility so revered that cricketers in the country have moved closer to in a bid to improve their game. The upper level of the old ballpark was kept, while the lower bowl was rebuilt to fit cricketing dimensions.

Thankfully, the greys of rain and the lingering tornado warnings of Dallas that prevented warm-up play have disappeared, squeezed out by blue skies ahead of its day with destiny. On home soil, and on a wicket tipped to zip through and provide a spectacle fitting of a tournament opener, Jones is ready to fulfill a life’s dream at a venue that both embodies the growth of American cricket, and fitting of a T20 World Cup opening fixture.

“I think growing up as a kid, the majority of cricketers want to play a World Cup. The World Cup being the highest stage you could play, so just being a part is very exciting to me, to be honest," he said.

“It’s probably the highest height really and truly over the last couple of years, being able to play in a World Cup.

“Compared to other places I've played, (Grand Prairie) is up there with the best fields in the world to be honest.”

Recent results put the Americans as favourites on Saturday, though wash outs for the hosts and a win for Canada over Nepal in warm-up action do move the needle closer at least to the boys on the northern side of the border.

Jones is willing to throw out the form guide of the recent 4-0 series win, and understands the psychological strains the match could have on both sides.

"The team that we played against in that series is not the exact same team we'll be playing against tomorrow," Jones said.

“We know the outstanding rivalry we have with Canada, so pressure will be on both teams. It's whoever handle the pressure best tomorrow to be honest."

Saad too refrained from a stare into the crystal ball, though feels the neutrals watching on should his team looking to break new ground on tournament debut.

"(The) World Cup is that only stage where we get to compete and test our skills against the very best of the world," Saad said.

“I believe we're going to have a really good and really tough competition, and I believe both teams will entertain the crowd.

"It's kind of emotional, but we were looking for this opportunity. We finally got it. And we just want to represent Canada well and to our potential play to our potential in this World Cup"

Canada and USA feature in Group A alongside India, Pakistan and Ireland.

 
Will this be the most underwhelming tournament opener, ever?
 
Will this be the most underwhelming tournament opener, ever?
For sure it has to be. I had no inkling this was the official tournament starter. I thought it was still warm up stage wow !!

Rooting for my home team USA and hope they register their first victory and hope the crowds show up in Dallas to support the home team 👍👍
 
The tournament starter should have been ind vs pak with a glitzy opening ceremony in NY with US pop stars and performers etc. A big lost opportunity here by icc and bcci.
 
Well, back to ice hockey it is. :yk
Man- this was genuinely funny! 😂

For USA and Canada supporters- its just about enjoying the ride and enjoy till the fun lasts because there is no realistic way they go into the next stage. If any of them do- it w8be an upset of historical proportions.
 
The tournament starter should have been ind vs pak with a glitzy opening ceremony in NY with US pop stars and performers etc. A big lost opportunity here by icc and bcci.

India too scared to face Pakistan in a new ground like New York without some ample match practice.
 
I will be there with my brother in law tonight. Very excited
 
Host teams start..so windies and USA will start. I think we dont need to worry about ireland as usa will surprise us by beatingua
 
Let’s go Canada! 🇨🇦 My friends are playing Junaid Siddiqui and Saad bin Zafar captain! Also know the batting coach Rizwan cheema! Hopefully it’s a good rivalry game between 2 close countries
 
USA win the toss and will bowl first


Canada playing XI
: 1 Aaron Johnson, 2 Navneet Dhaliwal, 3 Pargat Singh, 4 Nicholas Kirton, 5 Shreyas Movva (wk), 6 Dilpreet Bajwa, 7 Saad Bin Zafar (capt), 8 Nikhil Dutta, 9 Dilon Heyliger, 10 Kaleem Sana, 11 Jeremy Gordon

USA playing XI: 1 Steven Taylor, 2 Monank Patel (capt, wk), 3 Andries Gous, 4 Aaron Jones, 5 Nitish Kumar, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Harmeet Singh, 8 Shadley van Schalkwyk, 9 Jasdeep Singh, 10 Ali Khan, 11 Saurabh Netravalkar
 
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"If the rain stays away, Corey Anderson, the former New Zealand allrounder who now plays for USA, will become the fifth player to represent two teams at the T20 World Cup. Former India Under-19 World Cup winner Harmeet Singh, once touted as the next Bishan Bedi, is also expected to play a key role with bat and ball."

From Cricinfo. I never realised that Corey Anderson plays for the USA now. Pakistan better beware ahah
 
Weather looks good for a full game. I'm curious to see how this pitch plays.
 
This guy looks like a beast. Only if Babar could have a sr like that

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Aaron Johnson off with a bang! :afridi

Showing Babar how it's done.
 
He's so good. Love his emotion and bowling analysis. what don't you like about him

It's the accent I think. I don't like the English commentators either, its very old man in the pub commentary. I prefer australian commentators.

I just feel if you are commentating on a match on an english sports channel then you have to be fluent and without an accent otherwise it becomes an earache.
 
It's the accent I think. I don't like the English commentators either, its very old man in the pub commentary. I prefer australian commentators.

I just feel if you are commentating on a match on an english sports channel then you have to be fluent and without an accent otherwise it becomes an earache.
I like the WI accent tbh, a lot of flair to it. but each to their own
 
Pretty good crowd and nice build up before the game :) hoping for a tie and super over :misbah
 
So will the USA, I can imagine Netravalkar running through our top order loll
Their batters are > Saim, Azam, Shadab, and chacha so far from what I'm seeing. Infact Ali Khan is really good as a bowler and their top batters have solid footwork amd power, something pur batters lack besides babar and fakhar.
 
No speed gun so far, want to see how fast ali khan bowls
 
Johnson has a bit of a Salman Butt coverdrive with those wrists
 
This Johnson guy is a solid batter. Man I knew it, Canadian league has caused these lads to be > Pakistan smh
 
Tbh I am bit surprised by the quality of cricket so far. It’s not bad at all. Johnson has played some very good shots.
 
This Johnson guy is a solid batter. Man I knew it, Canadian league has caused these lads to be > Pakistan smh
the lad has an average of 50+ and a SR of 166 after 16 games. Yes its against minows mainly, but its no joke
 
That was a classy shot from Dhaliwal.

These Canadian batsmen are pretty solid.
 
See shadab, this is how you bottom hand, learn how to bat from Johnson bro
 
Wow what an effort at point. Really impressive cricket from these guys so far

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Canada has to score more than 200 on this wicket... anything less than that would be easily chased down.
 
USA should try bowling short to Johnson, this boy is truing to front foot a pull shot. Kts a weakness they must exploit. They ain't getting him out otherwise
 
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