Afghanistan’s hopes of making it to the World Cup semi-finals have been greatly boosted by their convincing seven-wicket win over the Netherlands. Afghanistan, chasing their goal of 180, won with 111 balls remaining, their fourth tournament victory alongside wins over the defending champions England, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
Afghanistan now has eight points in general, tied with New Zealand and Australia, who hold two of the semi-final qualification spots.
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The Rundown: Netherlands vs Afghanistan
Afghanistan overcame the Netherlands by seven wickets on Friday to keep up their remarkable World Cup run. It was their fourth victory overall. With eight points, Afghanistan moved up to fifth place in the scoring positions, trailing only New Zealand in net run-rate. The top four groups advance to the final four.
Afghanistan has only won one match in its previous two World Cups, but after defeating England, the reigning champion, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the Asian team is currently leading the current competition in India with four wins.
Rahmat Shah Lays the Foundation for Afghan Victory
Afghanistan was 55-2 when the Netherlands won the toss and chose to bat first, but Rahmat Shah made a quick 52 off 54 balls to lay the foundation for an easy target of 180 runs to win.
Afghanistan’s captain, Hashmat Shahidi, scored the winning run with his sixth boundary in the 32nd over, leading the team home with an unbeaten 56.
The first over saw Mujeeb Ur Rahman capture his 100th wicket in an ODI as he caught opener Wesley Barresi leg before wicket. The following four Dutch batsmen were all out due to miscommunications.
With nine fours, Max O’Dowd (42 off 40) seemed to be on course for a significant score, but Azmatullah Omarzai’s excellent deep-striking performance saw him out as the opener’s futile dive snapped the stumps.
Netherlands Bowled Out for 179
The first ball was bowled by Afghanistan’s wicketkeeper, Ikhram Alikeel. He ran out Netherlands captain Scott Edwards—the team’s top scorer in the event—after he stepped out of his crease but had not looked for the ball.
The Dutch could not stand against Shapoor Zardast, who took four wickets, while Ahmadzai and Alikhil also took three wickets each. However, Sybrand Engelbrecht offered some resistance, scoring a patient 58 before being the last man out as the Dutch were run out.
These two will be the last games for the Netherlands, in which they meet England and host India.
Player of the Game: Mohammad Nabi
The ‘Player of the Game’ was given to Mohammad Nabi due to his impressive bowling performance on Friday at Ekena Stadium. His outstanding bowling demonstrated his versatile role as he captured three wickets for 28 runs. Among his wickets was that of the leading batsman, Bas de Leede.
Hashmatullah praised Mohammad Nabi, calling him a special and talented player who loves to take responsibility with the ball, as he did today.
Netherlands v Afghanistan Score
|179(46.3 overs)||181/3(31.3 overs)|
|Afghanistan outlasted the Netherlands by 7 wickets with 111 balls remaining|
Afghanistan has already demonstrated its might by defeating Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the reigning champions, England, in three of their matches. With a victory over the Netherlands, they would climb to eight points and even put themselves on par with Australia and New Zealand, who now hold two of the semi-final qualification spots.
India has already guaranteed itself a place in the final four, and South Africa is probably going to follow. The Netherlands, on the other hand, have only secured two victories in six games so far, and they must win on Friday to save the campaign.
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