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AFG Vs NED, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Afghanistan Beat Netherlands By 7 Wickets, Keep Semis Hopes Alive - As It Happened

Afghanistan registered their fourth victory in this tournament after they won by 7 wickets against Netherlands in Match 34 of ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in Lucknow. Catch cricket scores and highlights of the AFG Vs NED match here 

Netherlands Vs Afghanistan, Match 34 of ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in Lucknow
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Afghanistan beat the Netherlands by seven wickets for their fourth win in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in Lucknow on Friday. After dismissing the Dutchmen for a paltry total of 179, they chased down the target with Rahmat Shah and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi hitting 52 and 56 not out, respectively. The Netherlands, opting to bat first, rode Sybrand Engelbrecht's 86-ball 58 and Max O'Dowd's entertaining 42 to post what looked like a fighting total. But the Afghans took just 31.3 overs to chase it down. Good fielding, tight bowling and a measured batting performance took Afghanistan to their fourth win in this tournament. Semi-final hopes are alive for Afghanistan, but it's become more difficult for the Netherlands. Now, Afghanistan will move to Mumbai to face mighty Australia on Tuesday whereas Netherlands will face England on Wednesday in Pune. Catch cricket scores and highlights of the AFG Vs NED match here (Scorecard | Points Table | Report

That's all from our side!

Player of the match - Mohammad Nabi: (9.3-1-28-3)
"Just concentrated on my line and length and bowling dot balls. Always try to keep my line and length steady and use my variations. Always stick to my plans and take advantage of the angles. On other surfaces, variations are more varied, which is why I get wickets. I usually strive to keep it tight and hence bowl economically. Work on my fitness and diet, but my body is still in terrific shape and I'm excited to play for Afghanistan."

Brief score: AFG - 181/3 (31.3)

Hashmatullah Shahidi - 56(64),  Rahmat Shah - 52(54)  |  Saqib Zulfiqar: (3-0-25-1)

Afghanistan won by 7 wickets!

8:05 pm: AFG - 181/3; Overs 21-31.3 Highlights
Saqib Zulfiqar conceded 13 runs off his first over. But he got the wicket of set batter Rahmat Shah caught and bowled for 52 runs. Azmatullah Omarzai joined Hashmatullah Shahidi on the pitch and both played grounded shots to reach the target. Hashmatullah Shahidi completed his 19th ODI fifty and third in this campaign. Both batters rebuilt the Afghna innings and took Afghanistan to their third consecutive victory in this World Cup. Shahidi hit the winning runs and with the boundary off Aryan Dutt, Afghanistan won the match by 7 wickets and moved up the points table. Semi-final hopes are alive for Afghanistan.

7:15 pm: AFG - 109/2; Overs 11-20 Highlights
Roelof Van Der Merwe bowled Ibrahim Zadran on his first delivery. Ibrahim goes after making 20 runs. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi have rebuilt the innings after the early wickets of the openers. Both the veteran batters have shown maturity and have not taken any risks while playing shots. Bad balls were dispatched for boundaries but good deliveries were respected and since the target is low, both batters are taking their time to reach there. Netherlands bowlers failed to take further wickets. Rahmat and Hashmat's partnership for the third wicket also surpassed 50 runs. In this phase, 54 runs were scored and one wicket of Ibrahim Zadran was lost. Afghanistan are nearing the target very comfortably. 

6:40 pm: It's a must-win game for Afghanistan
Afghanistan need to win this match anyhow to remain alive in the race of semi-finals. Afghanistan are currently at no. 6 in the points table and above them are New Zealand and Pakistan with better net run rate. If they win this match with a good run rate that would benefit them. They will climb up to the fourth spot just below Australia and New Zealand will shift to the fifth spot. A big win will give an advantage and would also boost the morale of the players for the campaign.

6:25 pm: AFG - 55/1; Overs 1-10 Highlights
Afghanistan openers started carefully and slowly. Aryan Dutt and Logan van Beek bowled in good areas and kept the lengths tight. Van Beek trapped Rahmanullah Gurbaz in front of the wickets. Scott Edwards took a review and Gurbaz had to go back. Paul van Meekeren proved costly as he was called to bowl the 10th over and conceded 13 runs in that. Rahmat Shah hit three fours to end the first powerplay. With the loss of dangerous batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Afghanistan added 55 runs in the first powerplay. 

5:45 pm: Afghanistan start batting
Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran pair opened the Afghan batting and Aryan Dutt started for the Netherlands. With a boundary on the last delivery, Aryan Dutt conceded 9 runs from the first overs. Afghanistan are off the mark. 

Innings Break!
The Netherlands decided to bat first and post a defendable target on the board. But Hashmatullah Shahidi-led Afghanistan had some other plans. Playing four spinners on a pitch that was preferred to help seamers, Afghan spinners owned the Dutch innings from the start. Mujeeb Ur Rahman struck early and dismissed veteran Wesley Barresi for just one run. Colin Ackermann and Max O'Dowd added 70 runs for the second wicket stand, but continuous run-outs shifted the momentum completely. Afghan fielders were not the best in the fielding but obvious chances were not dropped by them. Sybrand Engelbrecht completed his second fifty of the campaign and held the Dutch innings for some time. But none of the other batters supported him at the crease. Mohammad Nabi took 3 wickets and proved economical. Noor Ahmad also grabbed a brace. Sybrand Engelbrecht also got involved in a horrible run-out and went back after making gritty 58 runs. Afghanistan now need 180 runs to win this match. The Netherlands have already defended a low total of 229 runs against Bangladesh. Afghanistan would like to win this early and easily to improve their net run rate, which may play a vital role in the coming days.

Target set for Afghanistan - 180 runs in 300 balls

Brief score: NED - 179/10 (46.3)

Sybrand Engelbrecht - 58(86),  Max O'Dowd - 42(40)  |  Mohammad Nabi: (9.3-1-28-3)

5:15 pm: Netherlands all out for 179
Netherlands tailenders can bat and they showed it in Lucknow as well. When the middle order collapsed and the score was 167/8 after 40 overs, Roelof van der Merwe along with Aryan Dutt added a few runs and played 6 more overs in front of the spin quadret of Afghanistan. After Roelof van der Merwe lost his wicket to Noor Ahmad, Paul van Meekeren added 10 runs with Aryand Dutt before falling to Mohammad Nabi's delivery. Now, Afghanistan need 180 runs in 50 overs to win this match.

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4:45 pm: NED - 167/8; Overs 31-40 Highlights
Mohammad Nabi has Logan Van Beek stumped. Sybrand Engelbrecht hit back-to-back fours and completed his 2nd fifty in this World Cup. Engelbrecht got involved in the fourth run-out of the innings and went back for 58 runs. Roelof van der Merwe reversed an LBW decision after being given out. Aryan Dutt also survived an LBW appeal. Only 38 runs were added by Dutch batters in this phase with the loss of two wickets. Now, the Netherlands would like to post a respectable total on the board. 

4:05 pm: NED - 129/6; Overs 21-30 Highlights
Mohammad Nabi nicks out Bas de Leede in a wicket maiden over. Another unsuccessful review by Afghanistan and both of their reviews are wasted. Noor Ahmad got his first wicket in the form of Saqib Zulfiqar. Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad bowled in tandem and kept the Dutch batters guessing. Sybrand Engelbrecht is the lone warrior on the crease. He is the only batter who felt confident in front of spin mysteries today. However, he was dropped twice on the Noor's bowling. Only 32 runs were added in this phase with the loss of two wickets. 

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3:25 pm: NED - 97/4; Overs 11-20 Highlights
A direct hit from Azmatullah Omarzai sent Max O'Dowd back to the pavilion for 42 runs. He was looking in good touch and his partnership with Colin Ackermann also reached 70 runs. Afghanistan players displayed a brilliant performance in fielding and put Netherlands batters under pressure. Fielders can also win you matches. And Afghan fielders took a step in that direction after three back-to-back good fielding efforts and three run-outs. First Azmat's direct hit sent O'Dowd back. Then Rashid Khan was involved in the run-out of Colin Ackermann. On the very next delivery, Scott Edwards lost sight of the ball and was run out by wicket-keeper Ikram Alikhil. Afghanistan have taken control in the match and would be eyeing to finish the Dutch innings as early as possible.

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2:45 pm: NED - 66/1; Overs 1-10 Highlights
Mujeeb Ur Rahman again struck early with the new ball. Wesley Barresi got trapped in his spin and was found in front of the wickets in the very first over of the Dutch innings. Colin Ackermann and Max O'Dowd rebuilt the innings after that and have made runs with quite a good run rate. They added 66 runs from the first powerplay. Rashid Khan failed to run out Max O'Dowd and was taken off the ground due to some injury in his hip. Both the batters also completed their 50-run stand and looked in touch throughout their innings. Fazalhaq Farooqi looked off-touch today and have leaked runs so far. Afghanistan need to take some wickets to take the momentum back in the game otherwise both the batters have the quality to play long innings that may affect Afghanistan in the later stage of the match.

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2:15 pm: Who can join India in Semis?
India are the first team to register a spot in the last fours with their 302-run win against Sri Lanka in Wankhede Stadium on Thursday. And now, 8 contenders are fighting for the rest three spots in the semi-finals. Many permutations and combinations need to be applied to understand that. Afghanistan and the Netherlands have performed well along with many other teams in this tournament so far and what are their chances to reach the semis, find out HERE.

2:05 pm: Netherlands start batting
Wesley Barresi and Max O'Dowd opened the Netherlands batting. As always, Mujeeb Ur Rahman opened the bowling attack from Afghanistan. The Netherlands got off the mark with a single on the third delivery. But Mujeeb strikes on the fifth delivery and provides an early breakthrough by taking the wicket of Wesley Barresi LBW. With this wicket, Mujeeb completed his 100 ODI wickets. Colin Ackermann is the new batter. Two runs from the first over and one wicket of veteran Wesley Barresi. 

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1:32 pm: Toss Update

Netherlands have won the toss and have opted to bat

Teams:

Afghanistan (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi(c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil(w), Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Noor Ahmad

Netherlands (Playing XI): Wesley Barresi, Max ODowd, Colin Ackermann, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Scott Edwards(w/c), Bas de Leede, Saqib Zulfiqar, Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe, Aryan Dutt, Paul van Meekeren

1:32 pm: What captains said
Scott Edwards: We'll go first in the batting order. It has served us well. The wicket appears to be in good condition. Hopefully, we'll be able to put up the runs and protect it. We made one change. That is something we have discussed; our top order needs to produce more runs. We've got Barresi on his way to the top, and Vikramjit is out. We're still competing for a place in the semi-finals. We have a lot of excellent cricket to play. That (CT) is not something we are working on as a group. That comes with the possibility of playing good cricket.

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Hashmatullah Shahidi: We wanted to bat, but that's irrelevant. We need to play 100 overs of good cricket. It will spin. We're attempting to play terrific cricket. We're going to use four spinners. Naveen has been replaced by Noor Ahmad. There is a lot of support in this WC, and everyone is praying for us. That makes us pleased.

1:30 pm: Pitch Report
Pommie Mbangwa and Shaun Pollock from the pitch: The breeze will provide some relief from the heat. Square boundaries are 66 and 67 metres, respectively, and straight boundaries are 76 metres. Red and black soil, as well as some green grass, rolled in. They toss the grass clippings on top, followed by a small amount of water. It appears to be a nice surface, although batting first may be advantageous. It may later disintegrate since it is not necessarily kept together. Dew, on the other hand, can assist you bat.

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12:55 pm: Weather Conditions  
The weather in Lucknow is expected to be sunny, with a maximum temperature of around 32°C and 30% humidity. The good news is that there is next to no chance of rain.  

12:50 pm: Head-to-head Record
Netherlands and Afghanistan have played nine ODI matches against each other. Afghanistan have won seven matches, while the Netherlands have won just two.  

12:35 pm: Preview
Hello and welcome to the Netherlands Vs Afghanistan, Match 34, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Match Blog. With India securing their seat in the semis, only three slots remain open for those hopeful of contesting the knockouts. Lurking at an arm's distance from the favourites, the Netherlands and Afghanistan meet in Lucknow for the 34th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, knowing that a big win would boost both their morale and momentum - and might even provide a timely push for an unlikely, last-minute qualification.

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Permutations permit the Netherlands one last push for a sensational run for the semi-finals, unlikely as it might seen at this stage. The Dutch, with two wins, have been more successful than seasoned cricketing nations Bangladesh and England but need nothing short of a miracle - two wins (potentially three) and for one of New Zealand or Australia to lose twice - to make it to the next round from here. 

With three wins and three losses from six, Afghanistan are better placed for a semi-final qualification but still need to rack up their net run rate to fend off the challenge from competing teams. Rashid Khan and Co won't face any easier opponents than the Netherlands in the coming rounds either, with Australia and South Africa next in line for the hopefuls. 

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Squads:

Netherlands: Scott Edwards (C), Colin Ackermann, Shariz Ahmad, Wesley Barresi, Bas de Leede, Aryan Dutt, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Ryan Klein, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd, Vikram Singh, Logan van Beek,Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren, Saqib Zulfiqar.  

Afghanistan: Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Noor Ahmad, Ikram Alikhil, Fazal Farooqi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Naveen-ul-Haq, Reyaz Hassan, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Azmat Omarzai, Abdul Rahman, Rahmat Shah, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Najib Zadran, Ibrahim Zadran.

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