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Homesports‘We’re dreaming’: Afghanistan crush the Netherlands at Cricket World Cup

‘We’re dreaming’: Afghanistan crush the Netherlands at Cricket World Cup

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

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

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Afghanistan had won only one game in two previous World Cups, but the Asian side now have four wins in the tournament in India after also beating 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, the 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 picking up three wickets.

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Afghanistan have the same eight points as Australia and New Zealand, who currently occupy two of the semifinal qualifying places.

Undefeated India have already made sure of a last-four spot with South Africa almost certain to join them.

“We are still dreaming, and we are still trying our best to make the semifinal. That would be such a big achievement for our country and for me,” Shahidi said.

“A message to our country back home: We know that people are struggling. We are with them. I dedicate this win to them.”

Next up for Afghanistan on Tuesday is a potential grudge match against five-time champions Australia.

In January, Australia controversially cancelled a series against Afghanistan in protest, they said, against the Taliban’s treatment of women.

Source: News Agencies


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