Afghanistan beat Netherlands to keep semi-final bid alive

Afghanistan on Friday triumphed over the Netherlands to secure their fourth win to keep their semi-final bid alive in the ongoing World Cup 2023.

The Afghan side sailed through the relatively low 180-run target courtesy of half-centuries by Rahmat Shah and Hashmat Shahidi who scored 52 and 56 runs, respectively.

Afghanistan are ranked fifth on the points table with four wins and three losses in the seven matches of the tournament so far with today’s win significantly boosting their World Cup semi-final hopes.

Batting second, Afghan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran lost their wickets in the early overs. However, Rahmat Shah and Shahidi established a much-needed partnership to guide their side to an important win.

Shah, who has now amassed 264 runs with 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 74-run partnership.

Shahidi (56) and Azmatullah Omarzai (31) stood till the end securing a seven-wicket win for their side.

Earlier in the day, batting first, the Dutch could only score 179 runs in 46.3 overs as Afghani spinners, Mohammad Nabi and Noor Ahmed, and their poor running between the wickets troubled them the most.

Despite a bad start, losing their opener Wesley Barresi in the first over, the Dutch held their nerves and started playing good cricket but they became their own enemies.

All of their top performers — Max O’Dowd, Collin Ackerman, and Sybrand Engelbrecht — were run out after scoring 42, 29, and 58 runs respectively.

The Dutch could’ve 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 the youngster Noor with two scalps to his name were Afghanistan’s pick of the bowlers.

Afghanistan will now face the in-form Australia in yet another significant match on November 7 in Mumbai while the Netherlands face the struggling England on November 8 in Pune.