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T20 World Cup 2024: USA beat Canada in tournament opener

There was historical significance in designating this fixture as the tournament’s opening game – USA played Canada in the first international cricket match in 1844.

That match in New York was a resolutely Anglocentric affair with nearly all the players involved British.

Things were very different for this meeting, though, with a strong South Asian and Caribbean flavour to both sides reflecting the respective diasporas in the two North American countries.

Most of the 5,000-plus crowd were also from that demographic with India and Pakistan shirts aplenty.

Yet there were also pockets of Americans, with no obvious connection to the game, drawn through the gates of this neat little stadium through curiosity or relatively recent converts to the game.

You could even buy T-shirts with the image of former US president Abraham Lincoln padded up waiting to bat on them.

‘Este Alerta! Cuidado con las pelotas que salen del terreno de juego’ (Be alert! Watch for balls leaving the field of play) said one sign in Spanish at the ground.

It was wise advice as Jones peppered the boundary with an mouthwatering exhibition of powerful strokeplay – the pick a towering 99-metre heave that flew out of the ground.

USA were actually behind the rate at the halfway point of their innings on 81-2, with Canada’s total looking above par on the first T20 international at this ground.

The highest chase in the inaugural Major League Cricket season at the Grand Prairie Stadium last year was 158. The US had never chased more than 169 in a T20 international.

However, the destructive Jones seized the moment as he played the kind of carefree innings that will give the USA hope of upsetting some of the full ICC members later in the tournament.

USA next face Pakistan on Thursday, while Canada take on Ireland on Friday.

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Written by Joseph

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