The plaudits continue to roll in for quick Ali Khan after the Pakistan-born pacer picked up a seven-wicket haul to help USA defeat Jersey on Tuesday and keep their dreams alive of featuring at this year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
Khan used his sheer pace and ability to bowl fast yorkers to tear through the Jersey batting line-up and collect sensational figures of 7/32 from 9.4 overs as the USA booked their place at June's Qualifier tournament and moved one step closer to claiming a place at this year 50-over World Cup.
The 32-year-old picked up five wickets alone during a blistering opening spell at the United Cricket Club Ground and then returned at the death when his team needed him most to wrap up the Jersey tail just when they threatened to claim an unlikely victory.
Khan's haul was the seventh best figures achieved in Men's ODI cricket, with Sri Lanka great Chaminda Vaas the only bowler to have previously taken more than seven wickets in a 50-over ODI contest.
TOP 10 BEST FIGURES IN MEN'S ODI CRICKET
|Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka)||8/19|
|Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)||7/12|
|Glenn McGrath (Australia)||7/15|
|Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)||7/18|
|Andy Bichel (Australia)||7/20|
|Muttiah Muralidaran (Sri Lanka)||7/30|
|Ali Khan (USA)||7/32|
|Tim Southee (New Zealand)||7/33|
|Trent Boult (New Zealand)||7/34|
|Waqar Younis (Pakistan)||7/36|
It also helped Khan catapult to the top of the list of wicket-takers at the Qualifier Play-off, with the dynamic right-armer now having taken 16 scalps at the event as a miserly average of just 12.37 from five matches.
That's four more wickets than any other bowler at the event, with Papua New Guinea pacer Semo Kamea (12 wickets) and fellow American Nisarg Patel (11) the only other players to have claimed more than 10 wickets heading into the final matchday on Wednesday.
Khan is a relatively late bloomer in terms of professional cricket, first making waves in American cricket in the mid-2010s. Upon Cricket World Cup League 2 success in 2019, the exciting quick made his ODI debut for his adopted country of the USA when he featured against Papua New Guinea in 2019.
It has been a long road to the top for the Punjab-born pacer, who only moved to the USA as a teenager and started to display his capabilities in various T20 leagues around the world last decade when turning out alongside the likes of Adam Zampa, Martin Guptill and Chris Lynn when playing for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League last decade.
4 wins off 5 matches – USA have qualified for the ICC Men’s @cricketworldcup Qualifier 2023 🎉— ICC (@ICC) April 4, 2023
Scorecard 📝: https://t.co/wTwSR07cHU
Watch all the action LIVE and for FREE on https://t.co/MHHfZPyHf9 📺 pic.twitter.com/zq9n45XXbh
But it seems we are only going to see more of the exciting fast bowler, who will now be expected to spearhead USA's assault on the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe during June and July, where the emerging cricketing country will get the chance to battle it out for a place in the 10-team event that is scheduled for the end of the year.
USA will face the likes of 1996 champions Sri Lanka, emerging cricket nation Nepal and two-time winners the West Indies at the Qualifier tournament in the middle of the year, while UAE will also join them at the event after they progressed from the Play-off.
How to watch the Qualifier Play-off
The Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off will be available on FanCode in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan; and on Willow TV in the USA.
Fans in ALL other regions can watch the Qualifier Play-off live and FREE on ICC.tv on: