ODI World Cup 2023: Afghanistan defeats Netherlands by 7 wickets
Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi scored fifties as Afghanistan defeated the Netherlands by 7 wickets with 111 balls remaining.
Afghanistan keeps itself in the race for the semi-final qualifications with an emphatic win over the Netherlands. Afghanistan chased down the target of 180 runs with 7 wickets and 111 balls remaining. Skipper, Hashmatullah Shahidi scored an unbeaten 56 runs and was provided support by Rahmat Shah who scored 52 runs. Here is a recap of the second innings.
Afghanistan controls powerplay
Afghanistan started their chase in the best way possible as Rahmanullah Gurbaz smashed the boundary in the first resulting in nine runs being scored in the Aryan Dutt over. A huge shout for LBW was turned down early in the innings (2.6) against Ibrahim Zadran. The replays showed the ball spinning down the leg and missing the leg stump. Gurbaz struck another four in the fourth over and this time it was Logan van Beek on the receiving end. Zadran smashed his first boundary in the fifth over as the Dutch side continued to leak runs.
Van Beek took the first wicket of the innings dismissing Gurbaz in the sixth over. It was a caught behind which was originally not given but a successful review from skipper, Scott Edwards overturned the call. Rahmat Shah looked in great touch from the moment he came to the crease. The experienced Afghan batter even smashed three boundaries in the tenth over to give a powerful end to the powerplay. Afghanistan scored 55 runs in the powerplay with the loss of just one wicket.
Afghanistan cruise to victory
Roelof van der Merwe was introduced right after the powerplay and the veteran off-spinner made a mark on the game immediately. Van der Merwe dismissed Zadran on his very first ball. Zadran scored 20 runs in 34 balls hitting two fours. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi batted with ease against the Dutch and killed any hopes they had of winning this match. The duo batted at a healthy rate scoring 62 runs in 10 overs (12-21).
During this phase, Paul van Meekeren conceded six runs in the 12th over before bowling a two-run 14th over. Against van der Merwe, both Shah and Shahidi found easy singles and doubles coupled with an odd boundary here and there. Dutt came back into the attack replacing van Meekeren in the 16th over. The young right-arm off-spinner could neither take a wicket nor bowl economically as his two overs went for 11 runs.
The 50-run partnership was brought in the 20th over. Shah with an attractive straight drive brought up his half-century in the same over. Saqib Zulfiqar was introduced into the attack and the 26-year-old leg spinner conceded 13 runs in his first over. He bowled a no-ball and was hit for a four on the free hit as well as on the next delivery. Zulfiqar dismissed the half-centurion, Shah in the 23rd over. With 31 runs needed to win, Afghanistan increased their scoring rate. Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzai smashed one boundary each in the 28th over. Omarzai smashed another four in the 30th over. Shahidi scored his 19th ODI half-century and 3rd of this tournament in the 31st over in 59 balls.