Afghanistan triumphed over the Netherlands on Friday to secure their fourth win to keep alive their semi-final bid at the ongoing 2023 World Cup.
The Afghan side sailed through the relatively low target of 180 runs courtesy of half-centuries from Rahmat Shah and Hashmat Shahidi who scored 52 and 56 runs, respectively.
Afghanistan are fifth in the points table with four wins and three defeats in the tournament’s seven matches so far, with today’s win giving their World Cup semi-final hopes a major boost.
Second, Afghan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran lost their corners in the first overs. However, Rahmat Shah and Shahidi forged a much-needed partnership to lead their side to an important win.
Shah, who has now amassed 264 runs at an impressive average of 44 in the World Cup, stepped up once again after his side lost two early wickets and scored 52 runs, combining with his skipper to form a partnership of 74 routes.
Shahidi (56) and Azmatullah Omarzai (31) stood till the end to secure a seven-wicket victory for their team.
Earlier in the day, batting first, the Dutch could only score 179 runs in 46.3 overs as Afghan spinners Mohammad Nabi and Noor Ahmed and their poor running between the wickets troubled them more.
Despite a poor start, losing Wesley Barresi in the first over, the Dutch held their nerve and started playing some good cricket, but they became their own enemies.
All their top performers — Max O’Dowd, Collin Ackerman and Sybrand Engelbrecht — were out after scoring 42, 29 and 58 runs respectively.
The Dutch could have posted a decent total but their skipper Scott Edwards was run out on the first ball, leaving his side 92-4 in 18.4 overs.
Nabi with three and youngster Noor with two scalps to his name were Afghanistan’s pick of the bowlers.
Afghanistan will now face in-form Australia in another important match on November 7 in Mumbai, while the Netherlands will face struggling England on November 8 in Pune.
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