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Najib Stars as Afghanistan Sweeps the Netherlands 3-0

Najibullah Zadran (71) and the debutant Riaz Hassan (50) scored half-centuries while the spinners shared 7 wickets between them to help Afghanistan complete the clean sweep (3-0) of the series and maintain a 100% record in the ICC CWC Super League.

Match Summary

Afghanistan 254/5 (50 ov)

Netherlands 179/10 (42.4 ov)

Afghanistan won by 75 runs.

Plauer of the match Najibullah Zadran

SCORECARD

Earlier in the morning, Afghanistan opted to bat first going with 4 changes from the last game including 3 debutants. The right-hand top-order batter Riaz Hassan, right-arm leg-spin bowling all-rounder Qais Ahmad and the left-arm fast bowler Fazal Haque Farooqi were the three youngsters that made their debuts respectively. 

Riaz Hassan opened the inning with Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the centurion of the previous game, who went on to score only 12 runs today. Riaz marked his debut with a well-constructed half-century before throwing away his wicket for exactly 50 runs. His fifty came off 75 balls and featured 3 boundaries and a six.

Rahmat Shah once again played a vital role in consolidating the Afghanistan inning. He fell only two runs shy of his half-century after he cut one straight to Bas de leede at point. Skipper Hashmatullah was then joined by the left-hand hard-hitting batter Najibullah Zadran who was somehow under the shadow in the last two games. Najib executed his inning quite well and made an entertaining 71 off 59 deliveries in which he struck 8 fours and 3 massive sixes.

Right-arm seam bowling all-rounder, Azmatullah Omarzai who had earlier replaced Gulbadin Naib in the starting XI for this game, alongside Rashid Khan added important 18 runs off the last 8 deliveries to help Afghanistan post 254 runs on the board. Azmat finished on 15* while Rashid contributed with a quick-fire 13 off 6 deliveries. For the Netherlands, Vivian Kingma, Clayton Floyd, Brandon Glover, Saqib Zulfiqar, and Aryan Dutt picked one wicket each.

In reply, the Netherlands openers started promisingly. Colin Ackermann was promoted to the top of the order, who alongside their star performer Scott Edwards shared 103 runs for the first wicket between them while batting 22.2 overs. It was the debutant Qais Ahmad who provided Afghanistan with the breakthrough by trapping Scot Edwards in front for 54, that wicket created the gate for Afghan bowlers as they picked two more wickets just inside the next 4 overs to leave the Netherlands 123/3 in 26 overs.

Colin Ackermann scored a fighting 81 off 96 balls including scoring 7 boundaries and 2 sixes but that effort wasn’t enough to get his team home. The Netherlands have lost their last 9 wickets for 76 runs to fall short by a decent margin of 75 runs to Afghanistan. For Afghanistan, the debutant Qais Ahmad was the pick of the bowlers for his 3/32. Rashid Khan bagged 2, while the rest four bowlers had one wicket apiece.

Najibullah Zadran was adjudged as the player of the match for his entertaining 71, which helped Afghanistan post a good total on the board. The player of the series award went to the Dutch opener Scott Edwards who had an excellent series with the bat, scoring 298 runs including 3 half-centuries at an average of 69.33 runs.

With this win, Afghanistan completed the clean sweep in the series by winning all three games in the series. Afghanistan now has 6 wins out of the 6 games they have played, carrying full 60 marks in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, which counts towards qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.