Aaron Jones hit an outstanding 94 not out, filled with powerful sixes. His remarkable performance was supported by a fantastic knock of 65 from Andries Gous. Together, they ensured that the USA surpassed neighboring Canada by 7 wickets in the opening game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, held at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas.

Canada, after being put to bat by USA, posted a formidable total of 194 for 5 in their allotted 20 overs. The innings started positively with opener Aaron Johnson scoring a brisk 23 off 16 balls, including 5 boundaries, before being dismissed by Harmeet Singh. Navneet Dhaliwal was the standout performer for Canada, anchoring the innings with a solid 61 off 44 balls, featuring 6 fours and 3 sixes.

Aaron Jones destructive 94 not out against Canada has set the tone of what can be expected in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. File photo courtesy of ICC

Pargat Singh managed only 5 runs before a mix-up led to his run out. Nicholas Kirton played a pivotal role alongside Dhaliwal, scoring a quick 51 off 31 balls, hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes. Shreyas Movva added an unbeaten 32 off 16 balls, accelerating the innings towards the end. Dilpreet Singh Bajwa chipped in with 11 off 5 balls before being run out, and Dilon Heyliger remained not out on 1.

Among the USA bowlers, Harmeet Singh was the most successful with figures of 1 for 27 from his 4 overs. Ali Khan also picked up a wicket, conceding 41 runs in his 4 overs. Despite some expensive spells from other bowlers, USA managed to keep Canada’s total within reach.

Chasing a challenging target of 195, USA got off to a shaky start with Steven Taylor falling for a duck, LBW to Kaleem Sana on the second ball of the innings. Monank Patel and Andries Gous steadied the innings with a partnership before Patel was caught by Movva off Heyliger for 16. Gous played a crucial knock, scoring 65 off 46 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes, laying a solid foundation for the chase.

The highlight of the USA innings was the sensational performance by Aaron Jones, who played a match-winning knock of 94 not out off just 40 balls. His innings included 4 fours and 10 sixes, propelling USA towards victory. Corey Anderson remained unbeaten on 3 as USA reached the target with 14 balls to spare, finishing at 197 for 3 in 17.4 overs.

Canada’s bowlers struggled to contain the onslaught from Jones. Kaleem Sana took 1 for 34 in his 4 overs, while Dilon Heyliger and Nikhil Dutta also picked up a wicket each. However, their efforts were not enough to defend the total.

Aaron Jones was rightfully named Player of the Match for his extraordinary innings that sealed the win for USA. This victory marks a strong start for USA in the series, showcasing their prowess in chasing down substantial targets.