USA Cricket News

USA Cricket: Harmeet’s late burst floors Bangladesh as USA scores historic five-wicket upset in 1st T20I

2024 May 21 by DreamCricket USA

First it was Ireland in 2021, now it is Bangladesh in 2024. For the second time in a row in a bilateral home series, USA has scored a victory over a Full Member in its first ever T20I against a top tier visitor as a historic stand between Harmeet Singh and Corey Anderson helped slay Bangladesh by five wickets on a sweltering day in Texas. 

Photo credit: Peter Della Penna

By Peter Della Penna in Prairie View, Texas (Twitter/X @PeterDellaPenna)
First it was Ireland in 2021, now it is Bangladesh in 2024. For the second time in a row in a bilateral home series, USA has scored a victory over a Full Member in its first ever T20I against a top tier visitor. On Christmas week at Lauderhill in 2021, the USA batting hero was Gajanand Singh. On Tuesday, it was another left-handed dynamo as allrounder Harmeet Singh’s audacious 33 not out off 13 balls upon entering at No. 7 sparked a dramatic revival to secure an unlikely five-wicket upset over visiting Bangladesh in the 1st T20I of the three-match series at Prairie View Cricket Complex. 
USA needed 61 off 31 balls chasing a target of 154 when Harmeet first arrived with one ball to go in the 15thover following the dismissal of Nitish Kumar. Harmeet played that final ball over the over out for a dot against Shoriful Islam. He would only face one more dot ball in his final 12 deliveries as he slayed Bangladesh’s star fast bowlers at the death, Mustafizur Rahman and Shoriful. Harmeet launched Mustafizur for a six back over his head and another over wide long-on to end a 17-run 17th over, then crunched Shoriful for another six over long-on and a four carved behind point during a 14-run 18th to turn the equation into a suddenly very manageable 24 off 12 balls to win. 
Corey Anderson then took the reins against Mustafizur in the 19th. With Mustafizur struggling for his line earlier in the over conceding a pair of wides, USA had been keeping the pace with two runs per ball over the first four balls of the over. With 16 needed off the final eight, Mustafizur cracked with a delivery that landed on a fullish length which Anderson destroyed down the ground for six to tip the scales heavily in favor of USA. A single off the final ball meant Anderson kept strike to start the 20th, with Mahmudullah Riyad brought back to bowl his offspin. Anderson then latched onto another full delivery carting him for six over wide long-on to leave USA needed three off the final five balls. A single moved Anderson to 34 and put Harmeet back on strike before the next ball was lofted over extra cover to the boundary to clinch a famous win for USA. 
“As per out calculations, we were thinking Fizz would bowl the against the wind overs,” Harmeet said after the win when analyzing Bangladesh’s death overs tactics. “But when I saw Fizz coming from the other end bowling with the wind, I was like, ‘Here we have a chance where we can sneak in a 20-run over from the other side and see what we can get from Fizz. So either they took us lightly or what, I don’t know. But getting Mustafizur from this end, I would back myself anyway but on the other side they don’t have overs to bowl with because they only have Shoriful one over and then someone had to bowl that last over. They were thinking probably they will get us out. So I was like, if we hang in there and give ourselves 20 runs in the last over, we have a chance to win here. Me and Corey said we just need 20 in the last over, and then we finished up having under 10.”

Mustafizur’s rare failure gave him alarming figures of 2 for 41 in two overs, having looked untouchable in his first two overs when he conceded nine runs and took two wickets. Shoriful ended with 1 for 31 in his four overs while 21-year-old legspinner Rishad Hossain claimed 1 for 16 in his two overs as Bangladesh’s wicket-taking bowlers on a day in which they sorely missed fast bowling vice-captain Taskin Ahmed, who sat out due to injury. 

The chase got off to a healthy start as USA reached 27 for 0 after three overs thanks in part to some shoddy fielding from Bangladesh. Four byes were conceded in the opening over off a fumble behind the stumps to a missed swipe by Steven Taylor facing Mahmudullah before Monank Patel was dropped on 6 off a juggling one-handed leaping effort at short midwicket after Mahedi Hasan induced a false back foot flick. Monank punished the error next ball with a drive for six. But those would be his last runs as USA’s first wicket fell on the first ball of the fourth when a Taylor straight drive was deflected onto the stumps by Shoriful with Monank out of his ground at the non-striker’s end. 
Taylor slog swept Shakib Al Hasan for six in the fifth over to take the scores to 40 for 1, but from that point forward he struggled for fluency and scored at less than a run a ball for the rest of his innings. Andries Gous struck four fours in his 23, but fell sweeping Rishad very flat to Mustafizur at long leg, who pulled off a superb shoe-top catch lunging forward to make it 65 for 2 in the ninth. 
USA’s momentum became very stunted with the arrival of Aaron Jones to the crease, who defended the first seven of his deliveries before finally getting off the mark with a single in the 11th. The dot ball pressure produced by Jones affected Taylor and resulted in him giving away his wicket for 28 off 29, skying a drive to Mahmudullah at mid-off. Two balls later, Jones fell for 4 off 12 after he skied a drive over mid-off to give Mustafizur his second wicket of the over. This time, it was Bangladesh captain Nazmul Hossain Shanto who took a catch on the ring to make it 78 for 4 in the 12th. Kumar arrived with Anderson and the former got off the mark with a three before heaving a six over midwicket off Shakib in the 14th. But Kumar’s innings ended with six straight dots culminating in his wicket pulling Shoriful to Towhid Hridoy at deep midwicket for 10. 
At 94 for 5, and needing 12 an over for the final five, USA looked a long way from having any chance of turning the tide. But that’s exactly what Harmeet and Anderson did in what was a record-setting sixth-wicket partnership for USA in their T20I history. 
The win was set up by a sometimes brilliant, sometimes brutal bowling performance in the first innings by USA’s attack. A pair of wicket maidens – one each by Taylor and Jessy Singh – were surrounded by seven overs that went for double-digits, aided by an extraordinary five no balls on oversteps by USA bowlers. 
After Bangladesh cruised to 34 for 0 in four overs behind the opening pair of Litton Das – who was dropped on 2 in the second over by Monank Patel on a straightforward edge behind off the bowling of Ali Khan – and Soumya Sarkar, the first wicket finally fell in the fifth when Jessy Singh had Litton trapped lbw with a length ball for 14. The wicket maiden by Singh helped swing momentum USA’s way and Taylor built on it further getting Soumya to slog sweep flat to Kumar at deep midwicket for 20 to make it 34 for 2 in the sixth. 
But Jessy gave momentum back to Bangladesh just as quickly with a 14-run over in the seventh in which he overstepped twice. Hridoy belted him for a pair of boundaries over wide long-on to rub salt into the wound. 
Taylor continued a superb spell at the opposite end when he nabbed Shanto for a painful 3 off 11 balls that mercifully ended with a failed charge down the pitch to set up a simple stumping for Monank. Shakib’s stay was almost as much of a battle as he scratched his way to 6 off 11 balls before being runout by Taylor from cover. Hridoy pushed Harmeet into the off side and Shakib set off from the non-striker’s end only for Hridoy to stay put. A simple relay from Taylor to Harmeet over the non-striker’s stumps made it 68 for 4 in the 12th.
Jessy’s return into the attack in the 13th provided the opportunity for Hridoy to attack and he clubbed the right arm pace bowler for a pair of sixes over long-on. The costliest of USA’s five no balls then occurred in the 14thwhen Harmeet overstepped on a delivery that was driven straight to Gous at extra cover for what should have been a dismissal on 41. But umpire Sameer Bandekar’s outstretched arm stifled any celebrations from USA in the field. Harmeet overstepped again during a 10-run 16th before Khan went over the line for USA’s fifth no ball in the 17th during a 15-run over in which USA’s premier pace bowler was hit for four and six by Mahmudullah. 
Hridoy tapped a single to bring up a 41-ball half-century in the 18th off Harmeet before Saurabh Netravalkar ended a quality spell with the wicket of Mahmudullah for 31 in the 19th to end a 67-run partnership with Hridoy. A slower ball cutter resulted in a skied heave behind the bowler that was sensationally taken by Kumar charging in 30 yards from the long-on boundary. Khan conceded three fours and four wides during a 17-run final over but crucially took a wicket off the last delivery when a top-edged slog fell safely into the hands of Taylor as Hridoy finally fell for 58. 
Taylor took outstanding figures of 2 for 9 in three overs of offspin working against Bangladesh’s left-handed heavy lineup to end as USA’s standout bowler on the day. Netravalkar claimed 1 for 27 off his four overs while Singh ended with 1 for 30 in three after beginning with a wicket maiden. Khan was USA’s most expensive bowler on the day conceding 1 for 49 off four. Harmeet ended with 0 for 27 off his four while Anderson contributed two overs giving away just 10 runs. 
Both teams have an off day on Wednesday before returning to action on Thursday May 23 for the second T20I in the series. The match is scheduled for a 10 am local time start at Prairie View Cricket Complex in Texas.