Today's Paper | July 23, 2024

Published 23 May, 2024 07:04am

US grab morale-boosting victory over Bangladesh before World Cup

HOUSTON (Texas): Helped by a burly batsman from New Zealand and a former India junior, the United States savoured a confidence-boosting, five-wicket win over Bangladesh in a Twenty20 World Cup warm-up on Tuesday, just over a week out from co-hosting the tournament.

Batting all-rounder Corey Anderson, who played 13 Tests and over 80 white-ball matches for New Zealand, clobbered an unbeaten 34 to help the US chase down Bangladesh’s 153-6 with three balls to spare in Prairie View.

Harmeet Singh, who played under-19 cricket for India, joined Anderson in a match-winning, 62-run partnership, finishing 33 not out after hammering three sixes.

It was only the US’ second win over a top-tier, ICC Full Member nation in T20s, coming two-and-a-half years after their first against Ireland in 2021.

Towhid Hridoy top-scored for Bangladesh with 58 from 47 balls and off-spinner Steven Taylor picking up two for nine from three overs.

But the USA reached the target with three balls to spare thanks to the partnership between Anderson and Singh that saw them over the line.

The USA were 94-5 with five overs remaining before the pair turned on the strokes. After Anderson hit a six from the penultimate ball of the 19th over, the Americans needed nine off the last six balls.

Anderson smashed Mahmudullah over long-on for another six and then took a single before Singh struck the next ball over extra-cover for four to win the game.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Singh. “I was backing myself and the main aspect of the game was to stay in the game till the last. It came down to our best efforts in the last over and I think that was our plan,” he said.

“Definitely Corey brings a lot of experience. He himself played a lot of big tournaments, big games. He knows how to finish games and how to stay calm under pressure, finish till the last ball...we all look up to him.”

Ranked 19th in T20 cricket, the Monank Patel-captained United States have little chance of advancing beyond the group stage at the 20-nation World Cup co-hosted with the West Indies.

However, the Bangladesh upset in the series-opener against the south Asians raises hopes the Americans will not be embarrassed in front of home fans.

The US ease into the T20 World Cup against fellow cricketing minnows Canada in Dallas on June 1.

Matches against global titans Pakistan and India then follow before the US play Ireland in their final match of the group phase.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2024

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