Netherlands vs Afghanistan, In a thrilling match at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, Afghanistan showcased their dominance by defeating the Netherlands with seven wickets in hand, while chasing a target of 180 runs. Despite early setbacks with the losses of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi’s resilient partnership ensured Afghanistan’s commanding victory, with a remarkable 111 balls remaining.
Netherlands’ Brave Bowling Start: Netherlands vs Afghanistan
The Netherlands made a promising start with their bowlers Logan van Beek and Roelof van der Merwe dismissing the Afghan openers, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran. This early breakthrough kept the Netherlands in the game as they aimed to defend their total.
Afghanistan’s skipper, Hasmatullah Shahidi, took the crease following the fall of the openers. Although Rahmat Shah achieved a well-deserved half-century with 52 runs, he was eventually dismissed by Saqib Zulfiqar in the 23rd over.
Shahidi Steers Afghanistan to Victory
Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (56*) played a pivotal role in guiding Afghanistan to victory, achieving his 19th half-century in the process. He was ably supported by Azmatullah Omarzai (31*), and together, they secured a convincing seven-wicket win against the Netherlands.
For the Netherlands, Saqib Zulfiqar, Roelof van der Merwe, and Aryan Dutt each claimed one wicket. Despite their best efforts, they couldn’t prevent Afghanistan from achieving a comprehensive win.
Impressive Spin Bowling by Afghanistan
The Afghanistan spinners exhibited their mastery by restricting the Netherlands to a modest total of 179 runs. Mohammad Nabi was the standout performer, taking three crucial wickets, while Noor Ahmad contributed with two wickets. The Afghan fielders were in fine form, contributing to four run-outs, and showcasing their alertness and agility.
Nabi and Noor Ahmad’s effective spin spells resulted in wickets, including the dismissals of Saqib Zulfiqar and Logan van Beek. As the Netherlands was left with just three wickets, Roelof van der Merwe joined Max O’Dowd on the crease. However, Noor Ahmad struck once more, reducing the Netherlands to their last wicket.
Exceptional Fielding by Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s fielders displayed exceptional fielding skills, dismissing Colin Ackermann and the Netherlands’ skipper, Scott Edwards. Mohammad Nabi continued to make an impact, claiming the wicket of Bas de Leede, further contributing to the team’s success.
The early momentum was set by Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who clinched the wicket of the Netherlands’ opener, Wesley Barresi. With Colin Ackermann partnering with Max O’Dowd, the duo aimed to stabilize their team’s innings.
This victory catapults Afghanistan to the fifth position on the ICC Points table, accumulating eight points with a net run rate of (-)0.330. Their clinical performance in both bowling and batting reaffirms their stature as a formidable force in the cricketing world.