Monday, June 24, 2024

Cricket novices US begin T20 World Cup preparation with win over Bangladesh

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Co-hosts US beat star-studded Bangladesh by five wickets in their first T20 match of the series before the World Cup.

Helped by a burly batsman from New Zealand and a former India junior, the United States have savoured a confidence-boosting five-wicket win over Bangladesh in a T20, just over a week out from co-hosting the tournament.

Batting all-rounder Corey Anderson, who played 13 Tests and more than 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, Texas on Tuesday.

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.

The Bangladesh side was packed with international stars including former captain Shakib alHasan, Mahmudullah, Najmul Shanto, Mahedi Hasan, Litton Das and Mustafizur Rahman.

It was only the US’s 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.

Ranked 19th in T20 cricket, the Monank Patel-captained US 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.

Bangladesh are placed in the so-called “group of death” along with Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.

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