WC 2023: Netherlands Struggles Continue as Afghanistan Clinches a 7-Wicket Victory

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Lucknow, 3rd November 2023: In a recent ICC ODI World Cup 2023 match, the Netherlands faced Afghanistan at the Ekana Sports City in Lucknow. Afghanistan, emerging as dark horses in the tournament, have won four out of their seven matches, while the Netherlands continue to struggle. In this 34th ODI of the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023, Afghanistan convincingly beat the Netherlands by 7 wickets with 19 overs remaining.

The Netherlands won the toss and elected to bat first. Max O’Dowd scored 42 runs off 40 balls before Azmatullah Omarzai ran him out. Colin Ackerman contributed 29 runs off 35 balls before being run out by Rashid Khan. Sybrand Engelbrecht scored 58 runs off 86 balls before Mohammad Nabi ran him out. Afghanistan’s fielders excelled, dismissing four key batsmen through run-outs and taking catches to assist the bowlers. The rest of the Netherlands team struggled, and they were all out in the 47th over, posting a total of 179 runs.

From Afghanistan’s bowling attack, Mohammad Nabi claimed three wickets in his nine overs while conceding 28 runs. Noor Ahmed took two wickets, and Mujeeb Ur Rehman secured one.

Chasing a modest target of 180 runs, Rahmanullah Gurbaz failed to make an impact, and Ibrahim Zadran made a modest contribution. Rahmat Shah scored 52 runs off 54 balls before Saqib Zulfiqar caught and bowled him. Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi played a crucial inning, remaining not out at 56 runs off 64 balls, while Azmatullah Omarzai scored 31 not out off 28 balls. This collective performance allowed Afghanistan to comfortably win the match by 7 wickets with 18 overs remaining.

In the Netherlands’ bowling department, Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe, and Saqib Zulfiqar each claimed one wicket.

Afghanistan, once written off by many experts, is emerging as a dark horse in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 due to their incredible talent. They are tied on points with third-placed Australia and fourth-placed New Zealand, maintaining a two-point lead over cricket giants Pakistan. Afghanistan still has a good chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the tournament.

On the other hand, the Netherlands is struggling with team balance and is placed on the lower end of the points table, although they are ahead of Bangladesh and England, two teams with a rich cricketing history.

In upcoming fixtures, the 35th ODI of the 2023 ICC ODI Cricket World Cup will feature New Zealand facing Pakistan at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Additionally, the second fixture will be a high-stakes encounter between the Ashes rivals, England and Australia, taking place at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.