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ICC World Cup 2023: Afghanistan beat Netherlands to continue winning streak


Afghanistan continued their brilliant form and defeated the Netherlands comfortably by seven wickets in the 34th match of the ICC World Cup 2023 at the Ekana Sports City, Lucknow, India on Friday.

Hashmatullah Shahidi’s men recorded three wins in a row for the first time in the history of the tournament as before this year’s mega event they had only one victory in two World Cups — 2015 and 2019.

After openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran lost their wickets in the early overs, Rahmat Shah and Shahidi guided their side to an important win as the Afghans still remain alive in the race for the semi-finals.

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, helping the Afghans chase down the 180-run target in 31.3 overs, which has improved their net run rate (NRR) to an extent.

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, too, 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.

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