Fifties from Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi, and a collective bowling effort, helped Afghanistan maintain their perfect start to their Cricket World Cup Super League campaign, registering a clinical 36-run win in the first ODI of the three-match series against Netherlands in Doha on Friday.
Netherlands got off to a good start in the match as they got an early breakthrough in the form of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who got castled by Vivian Kingma in the fourth over of the innings for 13.
But Afghanistan made a good comeback, first through Usman Ghani and Rahmat Shah, who added 59 runs for the second wicket. And then through Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi, who built a stand of 66 runs for the third wicket.
The momentum swung towards the Dutch again when Colin Ackermann trapped Shah in front of the wicket for 70 in the 36th over of the innings, and Afghanistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals after that.
But Shahidi ensured that his side got to a fighting total as he kept batting on and was dismissed only in the last delivery of the innings for an excellent knock of 73 off 94 deliveries, helping Afghanistan to a total of 222/8.
Captain @Hashmat_50 (73) and @RahmatShah_08 (70) scored half-centuries while @rashidkhan_19 picked 3/31 to help Afghanistan beat the @KNCBcricket by 36 runs in the first of three-match ODI series.— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) January 21, 2022
More: https://t.co/C1EON4RjAt pic.twitter.com/jK510Ql3xv
Netherlands needed to get off to a steady start in order to chase the target down, and their openers, Scott Edward and Musa Ahmed, gave them that as the duo added 32 runs.
But Yamin Ahmadzai gave Afghanistan the much-needed breakthrough as he delivered with the wicket of Musa in the eighth over of the innings. One wicket brought two more as Netherlands lost Colin Ackermann and Bas de Leede for 10 and 9 respectively in the space of just six overs.
Edwards was batting beautifully but he wasn't getting the support he needed from the other end. Skipper Pieter Seelaar's arrival, however, provided some much-needed assurance to Edwards and the duo started rebuilding the Dutch innings slowly.
The partnership was growing well but Mujeeb-ur-Rahman succeeded in breaking it as he cleaned Edwards up for 68 in the 31st over. With this wicket, Netherlands were reduced to 121/4 and it was the moment that triggered the collapse of the Dutch innings.
Netherlands lost their remaining six wickets for just 65 runs as they succumbed to the pressure created by Afghanistan's spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and Sharafuddin Ashraf. The Dutch lost their last two wickets through run-outs and were all out for 186, with two overs still remaining.
Shahidi was named as the Player of the Match for his outstanding knock of 73.
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