Friday, June 14, 2024

USA shock Bangladesh again for historic series win |

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World Cup co-hosts warm-up for tournament with first ever series win over ICC full member

The United States have romped to a historic series win over Bangladesh – their first against an ICC full member nation – with a nail-biting six-run victory in the second T20 international in Houston.

Having shocked the Test-playing nation – who beat Zimbabwe 4-1 at home earlier this month – with a come-from-behind five-wicket win in the series opener on Tuesday, the USA did it again on Thursday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Ali Khan (3-25) was the hero with the ball, taking three wickets in the final three overs to stop Bangladesh in their tracks in what at one stage appeared a reasonably straightforward chase.

After game one star Harmeet Singh declared they would be “no walkovers” at next month’s T20 World Cup, which they as co-hosting with the West Indies, the USA let their cricket do the talking on Thursday as they put their Group A opponents India, Pakistan, Ireland and Canada on notice.

“The way our bowlers bowled in the Powerplay and especially in the last five overs, we used the conditions really well and they got the wickets at the right time,” USA skipper Monank Patel said.

“I think if we win (on Saturday) and get the confidence leading to the World Cup, it will definitely help us.”

The experienced Steven Taylor (31) and Patel (42) laid the platform for the USA’s 6-144 with a 44-run opening stand after they were sent in by Bangladesh at Prairie View.

Rishad Hossain (2-21) took consecutive wickets following the Powerplay to break the partnership before Aaron Jones added 35 from No.4 to steady the home side.

But their innings lacked the finishing impetus of the previous match, Singh (0) and former Black Cap Corey Anderson (11) falling cheaply as Shoriful Islam (2-29) and Mustafizur Rahman (2-31) put the brakes on.

At 5-119 with Bangladesh needing 26 from the final four overs, and even an over later at 6-124 with 21 off 18 balls required and star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan unbeaten on 30, the result appeared a forgone conclusion.

But the wickets keep tumbling – Khan’s double strike in the 18th over including the wicket of Shakib (30) the crucial blow.

Saurabh Netravalkar then bowled a fantastic penultimate over, removing Shoriful and conceding just three runs to leave the equation 12 from six balls with just one wicket remaining.

Khan needed just three balls to deliver a history-making win for the USA, drawing Hossain’s edge as he attempted a ramp to seal a stunning series victory for the world’s 19th ranked T20 side.

Veteran allrounder Shakib labelled it a “wake-up call” for the Bangladesh side two weeks’ out from their T20 World Cup opener against Sri Lanka.

“Certainly, it is disappointing, and we didn’t expect it, but we must give credit to the US team for the way they have played,” he told Cricbuzz.

“I think no one expected that we will lose two games. Any match you lose as a team is disappointing.

“But having said that, we have to play the World Cup and this series might be a wake-up call for us as we haven’t played the way we want to play.”

It was only the USA’s third win over a full member nation in T20 internationals following their first against Ireland in 2021 and Tuesday’s series opener.

The third T20I is at the same venue on Saturday (1am Sunday AEST). Following that, the two sides will also face off in the first of their two official World Cup warm-up fixtures at Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas on Wednesday.

Main image credit: Mirelle Photography

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