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    Canada force upset but T20 World Cup still lacking attention in New York

    You couldn’t buy a USA cricket jersey for love nor money in New York on Friday morning, indubitable proof, if anyone needed it, that the sport is taking over the nation. The kids in Williamsburg are wearing cable-knit sweaters, work’s already started on a Broadway show about the life of Saurabh Netravalkar, the computer engineer who bowled the decisive over in the USA’s win over Pakistan, and the rumours are that Joe Biden’s media team have been briefing him on the intricacies of drop-in pitches in case the subject comes up in the first presidential debate.

    Or at least, the New York Times carried an article about the match under the headline “US Scores Historic Cricket Win, but Only Pakistan Notices”. The game did make it into Google’s list of the top 20 search trends in the USA for the day. It was in 18th place, eight below National Donut Day and two above Oklahoma softball.

    Out at Eisenhower Park, meanwhile, cricket’s off-Broadway World Cup rolled on. Canada beat Ireland by 12 runs in another entertaining underdog victory over one of the International Cricket Council’s full member nations. The sorry part was only 5,000 people were here to see it. According to the US census bureau, over 10% of New York state’s population have Irish heritage, including, judging by their small talk, just about every cop on duty around the ground. You might think the ICC should have been able to shift a few more tickets in a city that hosts the world’s largest St Patrick’s Day parade.

    Still, the good news is that 24 hours of emergency treatment seems to have improved the pitches. The game was played on the same surface they had used for India’s victory over Ireland on Wednesday, but the grass had been shaved back, and the whole thing gone over with a heavy roller. There was still a little bit of variable bounce, but batting was certainly easier than it had been in either of the two previous games at the venue. After 15 overs of the first innings, Canada made a little bit of history when they became the first team to score more than 100 in a competitive game at the venue.

    Ireland fans take in the action in New York. Photograph: INPHO/REX/Shutterstock

    Their dapper little batter Nicholas Kirton made the largest contribution. Kirton was born and raised in Barbados, but has a Canadian mother, quick hands, a tidy drive and a handsome pull. He made 49 off 35 balls, including 17 off one over by Craig Young, and shared a partnership of 75 with Shreyas Movva. Which was more than Ireland’s top six managed between them. They struggled badly against Canada’s spinners. George Dockrell and Mark Adair almost won the game anyway with a freewheeling 62-run partnership, but Canada’s strapping fast bowler Jeremy Gordon closed the game by defending 17 in the final over.

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    Ireland’s innings was pretty desperate, their World Cup, which is now as good as over, utterly desultory. The wash up could be fun though, given the way the reputation the New York Irish have for celebrating a wake.

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