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Gurbaz, Mujeeb Lead Afghanistan to Series Win

Gurbaz scored a blistering hundred, Skipper Shahidi added another half-century while Mujeeb ur Rehman took 4/32 to lead Afghanistan to beat the Netherlands by 48 runs and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Match Summary

Afghanistan 237/6 (50 ov)

Netherlands 189/10 (47.4 ov)

Afghanistan won by 48 runs.

SCORECARD

Earlier in the day, Afghanistan had won the toss and elected to bat first. Opener Usman Ghani was removed on the 1st delivery of the 2nd over by an in swinging beauty from the left-arm pacer Fred Klaassen. The senior fellow Rahmat Shah alongside the sensational top-order batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz shared 83 runs for the 2nd wicket before Shah was beaten by an away spinning delivery and was stumped for 35.

Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi joined Gurbaz in the middle to put on a nice show in the middle, both of them shared 106 runs for the third wicket while batting for 21.1 overs together. Rahmanullah Gurbaz recorded his 2nd hundred in ODIs off 123 balls which saw him strike six boundaries and three sixes.

Hashmatullah followed his 73 in the first match with another half-century (54 off 80 balls) before Najibullah Zadran (20* off 19b) and Rashid Khan (14 off 17b) helped Afghanistan to post 237/6 on the board. For the Netherlands Philippe Boissevain and Fred Klaassen picked two wickets each while Ryan Klein and Colin Ackermann had one wicket apiece.

In reply, the Netherlands started well with the openers scoring 18 runs in the first three overs. Musa Ahmad nicked Mujeeb ur Rehman behind to Gurbaz in the 4th over for 6 runs, he was later followed by Colin Ackermann who edged Fareed Ahmad to Gulbadin Naib at the lone slip cordon to leave the Netherlands at 35/2 in 8.2 overs.

The right-handed opener Scot Edwards backed up his 68 in the first inning with another half-century in the 2nd match. He shared 90 runs for the 3rd wicket with Bas de Leede who made 35 runs off 83 balls before he was knocked over by an in-swinging delivery from Freed Ahmad.  Their skipper Pieter Seelaar joined Scot in the middle while they needed 113 in 15.4 overs.

Scott Edwards kept scoring freely before he was trapped in front by a sharp incoming delivery from Yamin Ahmadzai. Scot made 120-ball 86 in which he struck 9 boundaries. After his departure, the last 6 wickets fell for only 42 runs, thanks to some excellent fielding by the Afghans as well as some sharp bowling by Mujeeb ur Rehman who made short work of the tail by picking the last three wickets in one over to hand Afghanistan a comprehensive 48-run win.

Mujeeb was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan who took 4/32 in his 9.4 overs. Fareed Malik celebrated his comeback to the ODI side with some nice bowling, which made him take two wickets for 29 runs in 9 overs. Rashid Khan finished with 1/31 off 9 overs while the right-arm quick Yamin Ahmadzai contributed with 1/50 in his 10 overs. Right-arm medium Gulbadin Naib and the left-arm spinner Sharafuddin Ashraf both went wicketless again.

The wicket-keeper batter, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who had earlier scored an outstanding century was awarded as the Man of the Match. With this happening, Afghanistan took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series with the last game to be played on January 25 at the same venue.