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Ali Khan bowls USA to historic T20I series win over Bangladesh

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Ali Khan played the starring role as USA fought their way to a T20I series win over Bangladesh at home, going up 2-0 in the three-match series in Texas on Thursday. His three-wicket haul helped USA to a six-run win in the second game after they had won the first game courtesy Harmeet Singh’s big hitting.

USA bowled superbly in the death overs with Ali Khan picking up all his three wickets in that period, while Saurabh Netravalkar took one in the 19th over.

On Tuesday, when USA won the first game, it was their first win over a top-ten T20I side. This time, they went one step further. It will be a huge boost for the team ahead of the T20 World Cup next month.

For Bangladesh, it’s a cricketing disaster.

They couldn’t get the 145-run chase on track from the start. They lost two wickets inside the powerplay before a rush of wickets following a 48-run stand between captain Najmul Hossain Shanto and Towhid HridoyShakib Al Hasan tried to get them home but Ali Khan removed him in the 18th over to get USA back in the game.

Rishad Hossain led Bangladesh’s efficient bowling effort after they decided to bowl first. He took 2-21, his best and most economical spell in T20Is, while Mustafizur Rahman and Shoriful Islam also took two each. USA captain Monank Patel top scored with 42, while his deputy Aaron Jones got 35, but the home side couldn’t take advantage of a decent Powerplay.

USA make inroads

In the chase, Netravalkar gave USA the early breakthrough they wanted defending a smallish total. He caught and bowled Soumya Sarkar, who feebly pushed the fourth ball of the innings back to the bowler. Tanzid Hasan hit a six off Ali Khan, before tickling a boundary off Steven Taylor in the fourth over. Tanzid, however, threw away his good start when he was bowled attempting to pull a delivery from Jessy Singh that wasn’t short enough for the shot.

After that, Shanto and Hridoy, who made a fifty in the first game, added 48 runs for the third wicket. Hridoy and Shanto struck Harmeet for a six each in the tenth over, both hitting the ball relatively straight.

But Shanto and Hridoy got into a mix-up in the 11th over and Shanto was left stranded in the middle of the pitch. Corey Anderson then bowled Hridoy in the 13th over for 25 off 21 balls before Shadley van Schalkwyk did the same to Mahmudullah in the 15th over.

Ali Khan swings it USA’s way

Shakib survived a run-out attempt at the start of the 16th over when the point fielder couldn’t hit the stumps even as Shakib struggled to reach the striker’s end. He shook it off by timing two superb fours off Jessy later in the over, first through point and then tickled past third.

Bangladesh’s joy, however, was shortlived. Jaker Ali fell to van Schalkwyk before Shakib followed him back next ball. Batting on 30, Shakib chopped an away-going delivery from Ali Khan on to his stumps, leaving the tail to finish the job. Ali Khan then trapped Tanzim Hasan lbw for a duck just one ball later, to put USA well and truly on top.

Ali Khan the last-over hero

Rishad slammed Ali Khan for a one-bounce four at the end of the 18th over to keep Bangladesh in the hunt but Netravalkar bowled Shoriful in the penultimate over. Mustafizur took a single off the last ball of the over, before running a bye at the start of the last over. Rishad struck Ali Khan for a four through long-on but next ball, Ali Khan took his inside edge as he tried to ramp the fast bowler, sparking huge celebrations for USA. (ESPNcricinfo)

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