US Beats Canada at T20 Cricket World Cup Debut in Texas

On Saturday night, the United States of America kicked off the Twenty20 World Cup with a seven-wicket victory against Canada at the little field in Grand Prairie, Texas. This marked the beginning of the great American cricket experiment. 

Just getting the match on the schedule was a feat. Last Tuesday, a tornado swept across this area. It shredded a section of the sturdy metal railings on the grounds and tore apart one of the enormous scoreboard screens. Since then, there have been four days of flash flooding and heavy rain, and several of the nearby communities have been without electricity.

Temporary generators power the whole site, and the small crew has been working nonstop since.

One hitch in the evening was that, due to the exorbitant ticket prices, there were many vacant seats.

But the show went on, and those who showed up had a fantastic time. The announcer had a Southern drawl, smoked brisket was on sale, and there were lots of Stetson hats in the stands—not your typical cricket match.

Aaron Jones, a pocket rocket hitter (small in stature) from the United States who was born in Queens and brought up in Barbados, wowed an audience of about 5,000 with an incredibly free-wheeling innings. Jones scored 94 runs off of 40 balls without losing a wicket, including ten sixes and a clean hit.

The United States of America was considered a big favorite after its recent 4-0 series victory over Canada and 2-1 series victory over Bangladesh; nevertheless, its bowlers appeared to be having some first-night jitters. Canada scored 40 runs in the first four overs of its batting innings.

In the end, just 22 balls were needed for Jones to reach fifty. It was tense for the Canadians. When they reintroduced fast bowler Jeremy Gordon to the attack in the fourteenth over, the game took a turn. His opening two overs cost just 11, but his third over, which went for 33 runs, was laced with sixes, fours, three wides, and a catch off a no-ball. 

USA cruised home after that.