Afghanistan 312 ( Shahidi 83 Rahmat 51 Rippon 5-80) beat Netherlands 117 ( Seelar 38* Zadran 4-32 Ahmadzai 5-29) and 159 ( Rippon 80 Zahir 4-29 Zadran 3-45) by an innings and 36 runs
Netherlands, Nepal’s next opponents in the ICC World Cricket League Championship, were handed a humiliating loss of an inning and 36 runs by the touring Afghanistan side in their Intercontinental Cup fixture. The win takes Afghans (61 points against 60 of Ireland) to the top of the standings of the premeir multi-day tournament outside the Test Cricket.
The Afghans were on the command throughout the match right from the word go. Upon winning the toss, Afghans opted to bowl first and soon reduced the home side to 52 for 6. Peetar Seelar’s 38 not out was just about enough to take the score to the three figure marks as the Dutchs were able to post a disappointing 117 in their first innings. Opening fast bowling pair of Dawlat Zadran (4-32) and Yamin Ahmadzai (5-29) emerged as the chief destroyers for the touring side.
In reply, Afghanistan posted 312 giving them a healthy 195 run lead in the first innings. Hashmatullah Shahidi top scored with 83 while Rahmat Shah also registered a 50 to his name. Chinaman bowler Michael Rippon took 5 wickets but was unable to cut short the lead as almost all Afghan batsmen made small contribution each with as many as 9 batsmen reaching scores of double digits.
With their back against the walls and up against a spirited Afghan side, the Dutch side started their second innings on a positive note. Opening pair of Stephen Myburgh (23) and top scorer Michael Rippon (80) shared an entertaining opening stand of 57 runs in 59 balls. But once former skipper Mohammad Nabi got rid of the attacking Myburgh, the floodgates opened and it was all Afghanistan thereafter. In next 102 runs, the home side lost all their wickets as only two more batsmen crossed 10 run mark. Dawlat Zadran (3-45) continued his good work from the first innings but it was young Chinaman bowler Zahir Khan who stole the limelight with the returns of 4-29.
Netherlands will next play Nepal on two 50 overs fixtures as part off ICC World Cricket League Championship against Nepal in 13th and 15th of August.