USA Stun Bangladesh With Consecutive Wins, Clinch Historic T20I Series

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Twice in two games, rank cricketing upstarts USA humbled Bangladesh again as they sealed their maiden T20I series victory with a six-run win over the Tigers. In the second of the three-match series at the Prairie View Cricket Complex, the hosts conjured up a win, a golden moment for fans to savour for generations. The match turned out to be a yorker fest, with the bails flying everywhere with the USA players getting into a joyous and celebratory huddle at the fall of every single wicket.

Their inspired performance saw them come away with an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Playing against the USA on unfamiliar surfaces resulted in the undoing of the Bangladeshi batters, who are naturally bred on slow turners of the subcontinent. It turned out to be another disappointing day for the Bangladesh batters as they struggled to come good with the willow after a clinical effort with the ball.

Chasing a gettable target of 144 on a seemingly benign surface, Bangladesh batters struggled for flow and rhythm and eventually perished trying to force the pace in the face of a disciplined bowling effort.

Apart from captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and the in-form Towhid Hridoy, none of the other batters in the Bangladesh dugout managed to rise to the occasion.

Left-arm pacer Saurabh Netravalkar drew first blood in the opening over of the chase as he sent back southpaw Soumya Sarkar for a golden duck.

Tanzid Hasan followed Sarkar back to the hutch as Jessy Singh sent him packing three overs later for a score of 19(15).

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Shanto and Hridoy forged a substantial 48-run stand to keep Bangladesh’s innings from falling apart.

Halfway through the innings, Bangladesh seemed poised to chase down the target comfortably. However, a moment of brilliance from former New Zealand international Corey Anderson altered the course of the game and turned it in favour of the USA.

In the 11th over, Corey Anderson gathered the ball and charged towards the stumps following a mix-up between the two batters. A slight moment of hesitation saw Shanto perish, as he trudged back to the dugout on a personal score of 36 (34).

An over later, an Anderson in-swinger rattled Hridoy’s (25) stumps to put the skids on the Bangladeshi chase. The wicket triggered a collapse that not many, who packed into the stands at Houston, would have seen coming.

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Shakib led the fight at one end but the wickets kept falling at the other at regular intervals.

The equation came down to 21 runs off the final 3 overs for Bangladesh to keep the series alive.

The pressure was on Shakib’s shoulders to see off the game for his team. He tried to go for a drive on a pitched-up delivery but only found an inside edge. A slight miscalculation set the course of the balls straight to the stumps.

The writing was on the wall for Bangladesh after this dismissal. Still, they managed to stay close to the chase.

With 12 needed off the final six deliveries, Rishad Hossain found the fence on the second ball to raise hopes of an unprecedented comeback.

But Ali Khan kept his composure and removed Hossain to bundle out Bangladesh with a score of 138.

Earlier in the innings, Bangladesh won the toss and put USA to bat. Skipper Monank Patel led the charge from the bat and stuck 42. Steven Taylor and Aaron Jones provided valuable contributions with their knocks of 31 and 35 to propel USA’s score to 144/7.

Brief Score: United States 144/7 in 20 overs (Monank Patel 42, Aaron Jones 35, Rishad Hossain 2/21) vs Bangladesh 138 (Najmul Hossain Shanto 36, Shakib Al Hasan 30; Ali Khan 3-25, Saurabh Netravalkar 2-15).

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