Friday, June 14, 2024

Who Is Ali Khan, Pakistan Born Pacer, Picked By KKR In IPL, Who Helped USA Beat Bangladesh In 2nd T20I?

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Who is Ali Khan? (Source: USA Cricket)

USA scripted history as they defeated Bangladesh by six runs in the second T20I to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series. The cornerstone of the massive win for pacer Ali Khan, who bagged three wickets for 25 runs to stun the visitors. Chasing a target of 145, Bangladesh were cruising to a win at 119-5 in the 16th over, needing another 26 runs in 24 balls, however, van Schalwyk bowled a five-run over and got the wicket of Jaker Ali to get USA back in the game. What followed was a magnificent spell by Ali Khan, who got the wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Tanzim Hasan Sakib in the 18th over, giving away just six runs to put USA on top. Khan then defended 12 runs in the last over as USA picked up a historic win.

Who Is Ali Khan?

Born in Pakistan, Ali Khan moved to the USA at the age of 18. He grabbed eyeballs at the open trials organised by ICC Americas at Indianapolis in September 2015. His ability to bowl yorkers and swing the ball at 135 kph impressed the legendary West Indies pacer, Courtney Walsh. Khan was immediately picked in the 15-man combined ICC Americas squad to play in the 2016 WICB Nagico Super50 competition. Khan was soon roped in by Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL draft and the pacer made a stunning debut, taking the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara on the first ball of his spell. He made his debut for the USA in 2019 while playing against PNG. His moment of glory before the emphatic spell against Bangladesh came during the CWC Qualifier playoff in Namibia when he rattled the Jersey side with a spell of 7-32. The biggest moment in Ali Khan’s career came when he was roped in by IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2020, however, the joy was short lived as he picked up an injury and was ruled out of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Khan said he enjoys pressure situations and loves bowling in death overs.

“I like my role wherever I go and play, which is to bowl at the death. There’s always pressure when you bowl in the powerplay and death. And I think this is my strength and I like to take that challenge. And I like to take the responsibility. In these situations, I would go to the captain and ask for the ball because I know, and I believe in myself, in my ability and on my day I can definitely back myself and try to get the win” said Khan on the momentous occasion of USA’s first series win over a full member nation.

The pacer was elated after USA’s emphatic win and demanded more opportunities against top teams that can help USA cricket evolve.

“This shows the world what we can do if we are given the opportunities. If you just keep playing at this associate level or lower levels, you’re gonna stay there. But if you have more opportunities to play against bigger sides, the top 10 teams, there’s definitely ways of doing an upset. And this is a clear picture of that. And I think, definitely associate cricket should be given more opportunities against the full members that will help us showcase our talent and what we have to show the world”

“We are hungry, we’re just hungry. And we’re gonna try to eat whoever comes in our way. Especially, this is the time where we can make some changes and try to adjust what we can small little things. But I think team looks really balanced. All the guys are hungry, as I said, and we are really looking forward to the World Cup, and I’m sure USA will be there to do an upset” added Khan.

USA will host the T20 World Cup 2-24. The team is clubbed with India, Pakistan, Canada and Ireland in Group A.

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