Afghanistan seal ODI series sweep against Netherlands

Published January 26, 2022
Afghanistan’s Najibullah Zadran plays a shot during the third ODI against the Netherlands at the Asian Sports City Stadium on Tuesday. —AFP
Afghanistan’s Najibullah Zadran plays a shot during the third ODI against the Netherlands at the Asian Sports City Stadium on Tuesday. —AFP

DOHA: Afghanistan sealed a series whitewash of the Netherlands in the third One-day International here at the Asian Sports City Stadium on Tuesday, boosting their 2023 World Cup qualifying bid.

Najibullah Zadran smashed a 59-ball 71 as the Afghans posted 254-5 from their 50 overs, before their spinners induced a Dutch collapse from 103-0 to 179 all out.

The 75-run victory was Afghanistan’s sixth win from as many matches and moves them up to fifth in the 13-team 2023 World Cup Super League table.

The top eight nations will earn automatic qualification for next year’s global showpiece in India.

Afghanistan have played in each of the last two ODI World Cups.

Batting first for the third successive game in the series, Hashmatullah Shahidi’s men made a solid start, with Riaz Hussan and Rahmat Shah making 50 and 48, respectively.

Najibullah provided the impetus to set a challenging total, smashing eight fours and three sixes in his innings.

The Netherlands made a brilliant start to their chase with a 103-run opening stand between Scott Edwards and Colin Ackermann.

But leg-spinner Qais Ahmad, making his ODI debut, trapped Tonga-born wicket-keeper Edwards lbw for 54 to start a procession of wickets.

Rashid Khan dismissed Ackermann for 81 and the Netherlands offered very little other resistance.

The 21-year-old Qais, who has starred in T20 franchise cricket around the world, took the last two wickets to finish with figures of 3-32.

Summarised scores:

AFGHANISTAN 254-5 in 50 overs (Najibullah 71, Hussan 50); NETHERLANDS 179 in 42.4 overs (Ackermann 81, Edwards 54; Qais 3-32).

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2022

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