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U.S. cricketers move on at T20 World Cup, eliminating Canada, Pakistan and Ireland

Team United States' cricketers walk in the field before an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between the United States and Ireland at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill, Fla., Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

LAUDERHILL, Fla. (CP-AP) — The U.S. cricket team qualified for the second round in its ICC Men's T20 World Cup debut, ensuring Canada, Pakistan and Ireland go home early, when its last group game against Ireland was washed out Friday.

Rain meant the match was abandoned without a ball bowled, earning the U.S. a single point that increased its total to five behind unbeaten India's six in Group A. Only the top two in each of the 20-country tournament's four groups advance to the Super-8 stage,

Canada and Pakistan, both on two points with one game remaining, cannot catch the U.S., which in moving on has also automatically qualified for the 2026 T20 World Cup in India and Sri Lanka.

The U.S. qualified for this T20 World Cup only as a co-host with the West Indies, but it has used home advantage to make a stunning first impression in its first global cricket tournament.

The U.S. beat Canada in Texas before stunning Pakistan on Long Island in the first week. Tying Pakistan in regular overs then beating it in a Super Over was one of the greatest upsets in the tournament's history.

The Americans were then thumped by unbeaten India, one of the title favourites, as expected on Wednesday but the hosts' progression without being able to play on Friday was still well deserved.

Canada's final game Saturday against top-ranked India in Lauderhill is also under threat with rain in the forecast. The final Group A game is Pakistan-Ireland on Sunday in Lauderhill.

The 23rd-ranked Canadians (1-2) would have needed to upset India, radically improve its net run rate and hope that the U.S. and Pakistan both lose to Ireland to have any chance of advancing. Even then, that scenario would have left the Canadians and Irish tied on four points with run rate coming into play.

Friday's washout makes it all moot. Now the Canadians, whose tournament debut already includes an upset win over Ireland, are just hoping to get Saturday's game in.

Games with cricket's superpowers are rare for ICC associate members like Canada. India beat Canada by 128 runs when they met in one-day play at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

For seventh-ranked Pakistan, missing out on the Super-8 is a disaster. Pakistan won the title in 2009 and reached two more finals, including at the last T20 World Cup in 2022.

Ireland, ranked 11th, was also expected to be a threat. The Irish, who lost their first two matches here, also reached the second round on debut in 2009 and repeated in 2022.

The umpires made four inspections of the wet outfield Friday before heavy rain arrived at around 1:30 p.m. local time and the match was called off three hours after its scheduled start.

The 17th-ranked U.S. joined the West Indies, India, Australia, South Africa and Afghanistan in the Super-8, with two more teams yet to qualify. The Super-8 stage splits into two groups, with each team guaranteed three games to try and reach the semifinals.


AP cricket:

With files from The Canadian Press

The Associated Press

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