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USA better Bangladesh in Houston in build-up to T20 World Cup

ICC Men's T20 World Cup co-hosts USA have put the world on notice with a satisfying final-over victory in the first T20I against Bangladesh in Houston.

It's been a run timed extremely late by the Americans in preparation for the historic event on their own shores, though signs in the build-up point to tournament success, holding their nerve at the Prairie View Complex on Tuesday.

Despite falling to 78/4 (11.4) and 94/5 (14.5) in their chase of 154, Corey Anderson and Harmeet Singh wrestled control back for the hosts, taking apart Bangladesh's bowlers in the final five overs, smashing 62 in just 27 deliveries to complete the chase with three balls to spare.

As former New Zealand international Anderson produced a performance fans are accustomed to seeing, finishing with 34* from 25 balls, the murmurs of Harmeet's quality by local observers were vinidcated as the left-hander belted 33* (13), including 11 off the last three balls of the chase.

The pair were up for the challenges of Bangladesh's bowling threats, most notably the world-class Mustafizur Rahman, who was hit for 32 runs across overs 17 and 19. The left-armer claimed the wickets of Steven Taylor (28 off 29) and Aaron Jones (4 off 12) to seemingly put his side ahead, though his figures of 2/9 from his first two overs were blown out to 2/41 (4) by the end of the day.

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Earlier, Bangladesh's batters were kept at bay by the American bowling group on the whole, and were themselves in a similar spot at 68/4 (11.2) after the dismissal of Shakib Al Hasan (6 off 12).

Towhid Hridoy (58 off 47) and Mahmudullah's (31 off 22) efforts moved the run rate towards eight an over, though the finger spin of Steven Taylor (2/9 off three overs) and Harmeet's economic 0/27 (4) ensured their opponents were kept to a chaseable total.

The Americans have now won five T20Is on the trot in 2024 after their 4-0 series win over neighbours Canada last month (one no-result), and look forward to two more T20Is against Bangladesh ahead of their official warm-up matches from 29 May and their tournament opener against Canada in Dallas on 1 June.

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