The United States of America (USA) achieved a fantastic chase over the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday night, live from the United Ground in Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek.
The USA are competing in the 2023 Cricket World Cup (ODI) Qualifier Play-off with Canada, Namibia, the UAE, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Jersey.
The top two nations from this group advance to the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier, where they will join eight other nations to battle for the last two qualifying spots for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India this October and November.
The USA started off this group with a big 231-151 win over hosts Namibia on 26 March, but then suffered what felt like a humiliating defeat to Canada 172-198, with the (US) Americans failing to complete the chase.
Today, the USA found themselves down by an insurmountable deficit and if they could not get the job done against Canada with only 198 to beat, surely coming back down from 279 would be impossible, especially against the presumed superior UAE.
Heading into this tournament, Namibia was ranked 17, the USA, 18, the UAE, 19, and PNG, 20. Both Canada and Jersey fell out of the top 20. So, today’s match for the USA was supposed to be their second hardest after Namibia, and yet the USA found themselves at 1-1 needing a win!
The unlikely hero who saved the day was an 18 year old who batted more than a century!
Saiteja Mukkamalla scored 120 runs from 114 bowls to lead the way and was never outted.
29 year old, Monank Patel, also put up a very notable batting performance with 61 runs from 50 bowls.
You can find the scorecard here.
With both Saiteja Mukkamalla’s and Monank Patel’s efforts, the USA were able to secure a come from behind 281-279 win!
The USA now find themselves in third place behind Canada who is 2-0 and Namibia who is 2-1, as Namibia has a superior net run rate to the USA. The UAE sit in fourth place at 1-1, while PNG and Jersey are both 0-2.
The USA did well to only go through 49 overs and 5 outs to get to 281 runs, but also did poorly on defense to give up 279 runs and only achieve 9 outs. The USA needs to get more batters out to achieve a victory in their next match against PNG on 2 April.
You can catch the action live here on Willow TV’s website.
The USA will also play Jersey on 4 April to close out their Qualifier Play-off run and will hope to be in the top two so they can compete later this year for a spot at cricket’s main event this fall.
Some notable achievements were that this was the USA’s largest succesful (winning) chase in a limited overs cricket match ever and Saiteja Mukkamalla became the youngest player to ever score an ODI century for Team USA.