Steven Taylor made history by becoming USA’s first batsman to score a half-century in T20Is on debut to earn Friday’s Play of the Day accolade, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.
The United States of America’s national side marked their recently-achieved status as the ICC’s 105th member by playing their debut T20I against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai.
Taylor starred with the bat during the encounter with a blistering half-century that helped power his country to a well above-par 152-7 in their reduced 15 overs. Having been inserted to bat first by the home side, USA were a wicket down with seven runs on the board when Taylor walked to the crease in the second over.
Taylor lit up the ICC Academy ground in Dubai with a sensational 72 off just 39 balls at a blistering 184.61 strike rate. The left-hander smashed nine fours and three sixes out of the park as the UAE’s bowling attack struggled.
His partnership with opener Jaskaran Malhotra (28) was the highlight of the debutant team’s early stages before Roy Silva added a quickfire 25 (7 balls, 1×4, 3×6) at the tail end of the innings.
The covers are coming on as the rain comes down again here in Dubai.
Steven Taylor has created history by smashing #TeamUSA🇺🇸's first ever T20I half-century
— USA Cricket (@usacricket) March 15, 2019
The visitors were ruthless against the UAE bowling attack. Zahoor Khan’s 2-30 in three overs was the pick of the bowling figures in the first innings, even though he was going at 10 runs to the over. It was Mohammad Naveed that eventually accounted for Taylor’s wicket in the end, although his 1-38 (3 overs) does not make for pretty reading.
Showers caused a delay to the second innings which was eventually reduced to 13 overs and the UAE needing 143 runs to win. The home side made a terrible start to their chase by losing both their openers within three overs.
The historic match was regularly interrupted by rain and the weather eventually washed out the encounter with the home side on 29-2 after 3.3 overs, nine balls shy of constituting a result.
Rare rain in Dubai spoiled USA's first ever Twenty20 International with wet weather forcing no result today in the first #UAEvUSA T20I at the ICC Academy.
The second T20I will take place at the same venue tomorrow. https://t.co/myfrXV9MeR
— ICC (@ICC) March 15, 2019
Photo: Matthew Lewis/IDI/Getty Images