USA pacer Ali Khan has cautioned teams ahead of the T20 World Cup in June after their iconic T20I series win against Bangladesh. He has alerted that the USA will “try to eat” whoever comes in their way.

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With Bangladesh needing 21 off 18 balls, Ali had Shakib Al Hasan chop onto his stumps for a 23-ball 30 off the first of the 18th over. Two balls later, he wiped out Tanzim Hasan Sakib for a duck to take the game further away from Bangladesh, who now had two wickets left.

Then Ali was tasked with the final over with 12 runs to defend. He conceded a four off the second ball against Rishad Hossain, who was then batting on nine off four before having the latter caught behind to hand USA a historic victory by six runs.

Having registered their maiden win over a Full Member two days back while playing against the same opponents in the first T20I, USA pulled off another stunning victory to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Speaking at the press conference after his Player of the Match performance of 3-25, Ali revealed that bowling at the death is his forte and he cherishes the responsibility: “I like my role wherever I go and play, which is to bowl at the death. There’s always pressure when you bowl in the powerplay and death. And I think this is my strength and I like to take that challenge. And I like to take the responsibility.

“In these situations, I would go to the captain and ask for the ball because I know, and I believe in myself, in my ability and on my day I can definitely back myself and try to get the win,” said Ali.

A veteran in USA cricket, Ali has built a reputation for delivering in crunch moments as he was also instrumental in his team securing a berth in the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe with a 7-32 against Jersey. He feels Associate Members “should be given more opportunities” to play Full Members to prove themselves on the global stage.

Ali said: “This shows the world what we can do if we are given the opportunities. If you just keep playing at this associate level or lower levels, you’re gonna stay there. But if you have more opportunities to play against bigger sides, the top 10 teams, there’s definitely ways of doing an upset. And this is a clear picture of that. And I think, definitely associate cricket should be given more opportunities against the full members that will help us showcase our talent and what we have to show the world.”

The speedster cautioned that the USA would be “hungry” for more such wins and backed his team to pull off surprises at the 2024 T20I World Cup in June. He further urged not to consider the series victory against Bangladesh a “fluke”.

“We are hungry, we’re just hungry. And we’re gonna try to eat whoever comes in our way. Especially, this is the time where we can make some changes and try to adjust what we can small little things. But I think team looks really balanced. All the guys are hungry, as I said, and we are really looking forward to the World Cup, and I’m sure USA will be there to do an upset.

“It’s massive because as I said, we need to put USA out there on the world cricket map, and this is a pure example. It’s not just that we earned it. Sometimes you get a win against a big side, they say, Oh, it’s a fluke. But beating them twice, back to back, winning the series, it’s not a fluke,” stated Ali. “That means we have talent, we have skills, and we have the ability if we have given the opportunities.”