4 Nov 2023

Afghanistan beat Netherlands to boost World Cup semi-final hopes

6:08 am on 4 November 2023
Afghanistan's captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (2L) and Azmatullah Omarzai (3L) celebrate their win at the end of the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match against Netherlands at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on November 3, 2023. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --


Afghanistan kept their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals alive after beating the Netherlands by seven wickets in a low-scoring group game.

Afghanistan climbed to fifth in the standings with eight points, behind New Zealand on net run rate. The top four teams move into the last four.

Afghanistan had won only one game in two previous World Cups, but the Asian side now have four wins in the tournament in India having also beaten defending champions England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Chasing 180 for victory after the Netherlands won the toss and opted to bat first, Afghanistan were 55-2 but Rahmat Shah scored a breezy 52 off 54 balls to set the platform for a comfortable chase.

Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi made an unbeaten 56 to guide Afghanistan home in the 32nd over, smashing the winning runs with his sixth boundary.

Earlier, Mujeeb Ur Rahman struck in the first over when he trapped opener Wesley Barresi lbw to claim his 100th ODI wicket and the next four Dutch batters were all run out after mix-ups.

Max O'Dowd (42) looked set for a big score with nine fours but was run out by fine work in the deep from Azmatullah Omarzai, who shattered the stumps with a direct hit as the opener's dive was in vain.

Captain Scott Edwards -- top scorer for the Dutch at the tournament -- was run out first ball by Afghan keeper Ikram Alikhil when he played a shot and stepped out of the crease not knowing where the ball was.

Sybrand Engelbrecht was the lone middle order batter to provide resistance with a patient 58 but the Dutch were all out for 179 in the 47th over, with Alikhil involved in six dismissals and Mohammad Nabi picked up three wickets.

- Reuters