USA Cricket News

USA Cricket: Ali Khan’s death overs blitz derails Bangladesh chase as USA claims stunning six-run win for 2-0 series lead

2024 May 23 by DreamCricket USA

A heavenly match-ending spell of fast bowling from USA's Ali Khan made life hell for Bangladesh as figures of 3 for 9 off his final nine deliveries left the visitors shellshocked in a stunning six-run win for USA to clinch the three-match series with a game in hand. 

Photo credit: Peter Della Penna

By Peter Della Penna in Prairie View, Texas (Twitter/X @PeterDellaPenna)
A heavenly final spell of fast bowling from Ali Khan made life hell for Bangladesh as figures of 3 for 9 off his final nine deliveries left the visitors shellshocked in a stunning six-run win for USA to take a 2-0 lead in the three match T20I series, guaranteeing USA’s first T20I series win over a Full Member at senior level. 
With 21 needed off 19 balls and five wickets in hand chasing a target of 145, the equation appeared to be a straightforward one for Bangladesh to level the T20I series against USA. That is, until the intervention of USA’s death bowling unit swung the pendulum furiously back toward the home side in an extraordinary display that saw Bangladesh collapse as the visitors lost their last five wickets for 14 on Thursday afternoon at Prairie View Cricket Complex. 
The Bangladesh slide began off the final ball of the 17th over when Shadley van Schalkwyk – who came into the USA XI for the second T20I in favor of Nosthush Kenjige – induced a skied heave by Jaker Ali that arced wide of Harmeet Singh at deep midwicket. But Tuesday’s Player of the Match had enough time to circle around 30 yards and hold onto a tricky catch inside the rope. Harmeet’s celebration after removing Jaker for 4 indicated that USA believed the door had been left ajar to sneak through and steal the match. 
Khan then kicked that door wide open off the first ball of the following over when he had Shakib Al Hasan edging a fullish length ball onto his stumps for 30 to make it 124 for 7. Suddenly, 21 off 17 with only the tailenders remaining tilted the equation in favor of USA. Khan improved USA’s odds even further two balls later when he trapped Tanzim Sakib with a yorker for a second-ball duck to make it 125 for 8. 
A boundary driven by Rishad Hossain over extra cover ended the 18th leaving Bangladesh with 15 off 12 balls to get. But Saurabh Netravalkar conceded just three singles while taking the wicket of Shoriful Islam for 1, who also dragged onto his stumps. Suddenly, USA was one wicket away from a historic series win while the 13 runs Bangladesh needed looked like a Himalayan climb. 
Khan conceded a bye and then a boundary to Rishad flat-batted over wide long-on to begin the final over, which brought the equation down to seven needed off four balls. On the third ball of the over, Rishad attempted to walk across his stumps to play a scoop with fine leg up in the ring, but he only managed to feather a length ball off the face of the bat through to Monank Patel behind the stumps for a simple catch to end the match and spark jubilant celebrations with several USA players ripping stumps out of the ground to mark the moment. Khan’s death overs sequence resulted in overall figures of 3 for 25 in 3.3 overs, making him an easy choice for Player of the Match. 
“I think it has to be up there, but I think the job’s not done yet,” said Khan at the post-match press conference when asked where he’d rate it among his best performances for USA. “It’s just another performance and I’m really happy that I helped the team. It would be up there but I wouldn’t say it was my best performance because I still feel like there is a lot of improvement and a lot more that I can do, better than this performance.”

The Bangladesh chase showed few signs of going off the rails during the first half when they coasted to 76 for 2 at the halfway stage in pursuit of a target of 145. Netravalkar’s first wicket of the day was a sensational one-handed effort in this follow-through just four balls into the Bangladesh reply when he intercepted a Soumya Sarkar drive to his favored left hand. Tanzid Hasan struck back in the second hitting Khan for six in a 10-run over and moved to 19 before he was bowled by Jessy Singh for 19 after a failed heave across the line to a ball that kept low making it 30 for 2 in the fifth. 
USA missed an opportunity to build more pressure on Bangladesh in the next over when Steven Taylor charged in from mid-off for a free shot at the non-striker’s stumps that went wide with Bangladesh captain Nazmul Hossain Shanto well short of his ground on 14. But Bangladesh took momentum into the drinks break when both Shanto and Towhid Hridoy drove Harmeet Singh over long-on for six during a 14-run over in the 10th
Yet just when it looked like Bangladesh was in command, a hiccup would set back their momentum. The first one happened three balls into the 11th when Hridoy miscued a flick off his pads off Corey Anderson that dribbled into short cover. Shanto set off from the non-striker’s end while Hridoy stayed put. Anderson charged forward and collected in his follow through and turned initially to throw but quickly recognized that he could win a foot race considering how far Shanto was out of his ground. Anderson set off for the non-striker’s end with ball in hand and with a three-yard lead, Shanto eventually gave up as Anderson swiped the bails off to send off the captain for 36, as well as ending a 48-run partnership, to make the score 78 for 3. 
Hridoy then dragged on for 25 in Anderson’s next over to make it 92 for 4 and Van Schalkwyk struck in the 14thfor the first of his two wickets, getting Mahmudullah for 3 as the stumps were rattled after a false heave across the line to make it 106 for 5. Yet with Bangladesh needing just 39 off 32 balls and Shakib in the middle, it was still their match to lose. That all changed with van Schalkwyk’s second wicket to end the 17th as the first domino to fall in a thrilling final sequence of play that ended with USA – who went from 9/2 online bookmaker underdogs before match one to 7/2 underdogs for the second T20I – emerging victorious once again. 
In addition to Khan’s Player of the Match figures of 3 for 25, fellow new ball and death bowler Netravalkar was splendid in his 2 for 15 off three overs. Van Schalkwyk ended with a vital 2 for 21 off four while Anderson claimed 1 for 11 off 2 and Jessy Singh 1 for 20 off two. Harmeet conceded 0 for 20 off his two overs while Taylor gave away 0 for 21 off his three. 
USA’s first innings total of 144 for 6 came courtesy of a number of scratchy contributions from the top order despite no one individual dominating the course of play with the bat. USA reached 42 for 0 at the end of the Powerplay after being sent in at the toss thanks to a 15-run burst in the sixth when Taylor slog swept Shakib over wide long-on and then cut him behind point for four during a 15-run over. 
However, Bangladesh struck back in the seventh behind 21-year-old legspinner Rishad, who had Taylor skying a catch to long-on for 31 before nabbing Andries Gous next ball with a push away from his body that resulted in an edge behind to make it 44 for 2. 
Monank was joined by vice-captain Aaron Jones and the two started off positively, Jones in particular with a straight driven six off Rishad in the ninth, before their partnership turned into a grind with both of their strike rates dipping to hover around an even run a ball. Monank survived a simple missed stumping chance on 33 off Shakib in the 16th as he charged down the wicket in an effort to rekindle USA’s momentum. Jones eventually fell in the next over for 35 off 34 balls, slogging to long-on off Mustafizur Rahman to end a 60-run partnership that spanned 56 deliveries. 
Anderson arrived and hooked his third ball for six off Mustafizur but fell in the 19th for 11 after he was bowled heaving across the line to Shoriful. Monank fell four balls later for a top-score of 42 off 38 balls. Just after he flat-batted Shoriful down the ground for six, the USA captain attempted to walk across his stumps to scoop over fine leg which resulted in him being clean bowled to make it 128 for 5. 
Crucially though, USA managed to add 16 off the final 8 legal deliveries in spite of Harmeet miscuing a cross bat swipe off Mustafizur to Shakib at extra cover to begin the final over. Nitish Kumar struck a boundary and a two in the 19th before van Schalkwyk flicked a yorker through fine leg for four in the 20th as part of a 10-run final over for USA. It wound up being just enough in the end. 
Rishad ended with 2 for 21 in his four overs while the left-arm pace duo of Shoriful and Mustafizur claimed 2 for 29 and 2 for 31 in their four overs respectively. Shakib bowled a luckless spell to end with 0 for 35 while new ball right-arm pacer Tanzim Sakib returned 0 for 23 off his four. 
USA and Bangladesh have a rest day on Friday before the third and final T20I of the series is slated for Saturday morning at 10 am local time in Texas.