World Cup: Afghanistan keep semis hopes alive with 7-wicket win over Dutch

Afghanistan stepped one step closer to a semifinal spot after they defeated the Netherlands by seven wickets at Ekana Stadium in Lucknow. Now Afghanistan have 8 points in 7 matches and are at the 5th spot on the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 points table behind India (already qualified for semis), South Africa (12 points), Australia (8 points) and New Zealand (8 points).

Chasing the lowly 180-run target, Ramanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran provided the Afghans a steady start. Gurbaz, though, gloved 3rd ball of 6th over down the leg side. Zadran then stitched a 28-run stand with Rahmat Shah before Roelof van der Merwe cleaned him up for 20 runs.

Rahat scored his third consecutive fifty in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 before he hit one straight to bowler Saqib Zulfiqar. 

Azmat Omarzai and captain Shahidi ensured they didn’t lose any wickets and overhauled the target with 111 balls to spare, as over 23500 Lucknow crowd celebrated in unison.

It was once again the captain Shahidi who remained unbeaten and took his team home. His 58 not out was the third unbeaten knock after 58 not out and unbeaten 48 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively.

Earlier, Shahidi told Business Standard that he lost his mother three months before the star of World Cup. And in the post-match press conference, the Afghanistan captain remembered his mother demise and dedicated the win over the Netherlands to the pain and sorrows of refugees who are facing trouble . 

At the end of post-match presentation, Shahidi also sent a message at the end of post-match presentation that the team is pained by watching the videos of refugees struggling in Pakistan.

“There are a lot of our refugee people in struggle, we all are watching their videos and we feel their pain. I dedicate this win for them,” Shahidi said.


Earlier, Sybrand Engelbrecht struck a gritty half-century but failed to push the Netherlands to a competitive total as Afghanistan bowled them out for 179.

Engelbrecht (58 off 86) anchored the Netherlands’ innings after the Dutch suffered a mid-innings collapse. This was after Max O’Dowd (42 off 40) and Colin Ackermann (29) shared an attacking 70-run standoff 64 balls for the second wicket after electing to bat.

The Netherlands lost Wesley Barresi, who replaced Vikramjit Singh, in the fifth ball of the innings, with Mujeeb Ur Rahman catching him plumb in front of the wicket.

O’Dowd and Ackermann steadied the Dutch ship before the Netherlands suffered a dramatic middle-order collapse.

Three runouts jolted Netherlands’ surge as from 73 for one, they slumped to 92 for 5, losing half the side inside 20 overs.

Poor judgement while running between the wickets and some brilliant fielding from the Afghans destabilised the Dutchmen.

A set O’Dowd fell victim to an unnecessary run out, caught inches short of the crease by Azamatullah Omarzai’s direct hit from the deep in search of a double. O’Dowd struck nine boundaries during his knock.

A few overs later, Ackermann was run out at the keeper’s end while going for a non-existent single.

Netherlands’ slide continued as wickets fell like nine pins, with wicket-keeper Ikram Alikhil involved in four dismissals.

Bas de Leede first edged one to Alikhil off off-spinner Mohammad Nabi, and then a few overs later, the Afghan gloveman pounced on another brilliant nick off Noor Ahmad to send Saqib Zulfiqar back into the dressing room.

Alikhil then effected a stumping off Nabi to dismiss Logan van Beek.

Though the Lucknow wicket looked good for batting upfront, the four runouts in the innings allowed Afghani spin bowlers — Nabi (3/28), Noor Ahmad (2/31) and Mujeeb (1/40) — create immense great pacers on Dutch batters.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *