Friday, June 14, 2024

T20 World Cup co-hosts USA send ‘no walkovers’ warning | Cricket News – Times of India

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USA stunned Bangladesh with a five-wicket win in the opening T20I of the three-match series in Houston and the ‘Player of the Match’ Harmeet Singh didn’t mince words describing the competitive nature of the T20 World Cup co-hosts, saying “We are no walkovers.”
The US and West Indies will together host the upcoming T20 World Cup from June 2 to 29.

ALSO SEE: T20 World Cup Schedule

Despite being ranked ten places below Bangladesh, the USA restricted the visitors to 153 for 6 and chased down the target with three balls to spare.Harmeet’s explosive 33 off 13 balls, combined with Corey Anderson‘s steady 34 off 25, ensured an unbroken 62-run partnership for the sixth wicket, sealing a rare victory for the US team.
“You don’t always get an opportunity to win a game against a big side like this every day,” Harmeet was quoted by ESPNCricinfo. “The way the boys have been training, it is a personal effort from everybody. It means a lot to us to put on a show against Bangladesh. We are no walkovers. I think our potential is immense. We have a lot of match-winners in the team. It gives us the edge.

“A lot of guys can also bowl two to four overs, like Steven (Taylor) did. Nitish (Kumar) and Milind (Kumar) can bowl a few overs. We have bench strength too. The competition within the team is helping us. Everyone wants to do well, and that’s helping the side.
“I told the guys before the game that Bangladesh are a good team on paper but if we go down without a fight, it won’t send a good message. We know the wicket as these are our home conditions. We know everything about this ground. It is a T20 format. Couple of hiccups, we push them in the powerplay. Then you can corner them and close out the game,” he said.
Harmeet emphasized the team’s strategic planning and the importance of understanding their home conditions. He pointed out that Bangladesh made a crucial tactical error by bowling Mustafizur Rahman from the wrong end, which allowed the USA batters to exploit Prairie View’s high winds. Mustafizur, who had initially troubled the USA lineup, ended up conceding 32 runs in his last two overs.

“I was backing ourselves to chase this down in the 18th over. We are pretty used to playing on slow pitches over here. For us, it would have seemed quite flat and for a Bangladeshi who are used to playing on flatter pitches, they would have found it a little bit tacky.
“We believed that Fizz (Mustafizur) will bowl against-the-wind overs but when I saw him bowl from the other end, with the wind, I thought we had a chance to sneak in a 20-run over from the other side. I think either they took us lightly, or I don’t know. They didn’t have bowlers to bowl with from the other side.
“They had Shoriful for one over, and someone had to bowl that last over,” Harmeet said. “They were thinking probably they’d get us out. I told Corey that if we hang in there, give ourselves 20 runs in the last over also, we have a chance to win here. We ended up needing under ten runs in the last over. They started from the end that had the wind. They finished on the other end. We backed ourselves in the last over.”

Harmeet praised the team’s collective effort and depth, highlighting contributions from various players that have fostered a competitive spirit within the squad. He commended the bowlers for restricting Bangladesh to a manageable total and expressed confidence in their ability to chase down targets under pressure.
“This win means a lot. It’s not every day you get to beat a top side like Bangladesh. Our preparation, belief, and tactical execution came together perfectly. Everyone contributed, and this victory is a testament to our potential and hard work,” said Harmeet.
(With IANS inputs)

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