Kenjige scalps 3 for 30 as USA restrict Pakistan to 159 for 7

DALLAS (USA), Jun 6: Left-arm spinner Nosthush Kenjige scalped three wickets for 30 runs as heavyweights Pakistan found it difficult to press the accelerator to be restricted to 159 for seven in their T20 World Cup match here on Thursday.
USA’s decision to bowl first was bang on target as Mohammad Rizwan was dismissed in the second over, caught by Steven Taylor off Saurabh Netravalkar (2/18).
It was tough going for Pakistan as they lost Usman Khan as he mis-hit a Kenjige delivery only to slice it to Nitish Kumar at long-off in the next over.
Fakhar Zaman tried to force his way with his aggressive instincts but fell short when he paddled-swept a simple catch to Taylor off Ali Khan in the fifth over as Pakistan slumped to 26 for 3.
Shadab Khan (40 off 25) finally eased the pressure off Pakistan, hitting Jasdeep Singh for two consecutive sixes and then skipper Babar Azam (44 off 43) finished with a boundary to pick up 20 runs from the 10th over as Pakistan reached 66 for 3.
With the momentum on their side, the Pakistani duo went on the offensive and thumped Harmeet Singh to all parts of the ground to pick two sixes and one four to yield 19 runs from the 12th over.
But then came an anti-climax when Kenjige picked up two wickets — Shadab and Azam Khan — in consecutive deliveries to bring USA back into the contest.
Kenjige first had Shadab holed at short fine leg in the 13th over and in the next delivery caught Azam Khan in front of the wicket, even though the batter went for an unsuccessful review, to reduce Pakistan to 98 for 5 in 13 overs.
Azam, who played a subdued 43-ball 44-run innings, fell short of another fifty as he was caught in front of the wicket by Jasdeep. The batter went for review but the decision was upheld.
Towards the end, Iftikhar Ahmed (18 off 14) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (23 not out off 16 balls) played good hands to take Pakistan beyond the 150-run mark. (PTI)