Afghanistan made a strong start to their ‘home’ series in Doha and will now be looking to seal the series victory. The Netherlands, however, will know that they can improve the level of their performances. Who will come out on top? Read on for our full Afghanistan vs Netherlands second ODI preview and prediction?
Afghanistan vs Netherlands Second ODI Preview and Prediction
Series So Far
Afghanistan are not absolutely at full-strength for this series, with Mohammad Nabi a notable absence after the all-rounder ruled himself out to give younger players a chance. But, on a difficult surface at the West End Park International Cricket Stadium, it was the older heads in the Afghanistan batting line-up who led the way. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was not at the crease for long, departing after just eight balls, whilst his partner Usman Ghani got bogged down, scoring just 24 off 57.
But Rahmat Shah and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi both made vital contributions of 70 and 73 respectively to get some runs on the board for the hosts. That allowed them to survive a middle-order collapse to post a respectable target of 223. That proved to be beyond the capabilities of the Netherlands batting order on a turning track with Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman sharing five wickets between them, accounting for three of the Dutch top four.
Without Stephen Myburgh or Max O’Dowd, their leading run scorers over the past year, the Netherlands turned to keeper-batter Scott Edwards and Musa Ahmed to open the batting. Edwards batted well for his 68, but Ahmed struggled, scoring just 11. Still, he may well be given another chance to with O’Dowd still absent. That will leave the experienced Colin Ackerman in the anchor role at three, he will hope for improved returns after mustering just 10 runs in the first match.
Bas de Leede struggled in his first outing, scoring nine, with captain Pieter Seelar in at five. Boris Gorlee, run out for 16 in the first match, will have another chance at six, with this valuable experience for the young batter. That leaves all-rounder Saqib Zulfiqar in the crucial spot at seven. Phillippe Boissevain will hope to contribute with bat and ball from eight, with Fred Klaasen set to lead the attack and bat at nine. Vivian Kingma and Brandon Glover will round out the side.
Afghanistan will be hoping for a more telling contribution from the opening combination of Gurbaz and Ghani in this match, but will doubtless be pleased with the efforts of Shah and Shahidi from three and four. They will once again most likely have a crucial role to play. Najibullah Zadran and Shahidullah both have considerable scope for improvement after failing in the first game. Gulbadin Naib also played indifferently, out for 16 after getting a start.
Khan, in at the death, had little chance to make an impact with the bat but unsurprisingly was Afghanistan’s key man with the ball and in the field, effecting one of Afghanistan’s three run outs. Sharafuddin Ashraf did not face a ball with the bat, but bowled superbly to give up just 23 runs in nine overs. Rahman also impressed with the ball, taking two crucial wickets at the top of the order, whilst seamer Yamin Ahmadzai also contributed with two important wickets.
As looked likely, facing such an adept spin-bowling attack in the Middle East proved to be a challenge too far for this inexperienced Netherlands batting line-up. They struggled to get the Afghan bowlers off the square throughout, with only Edwards and Seelar able to make telling contributions. It wasn’t easy for the Afghanistan batsman either, but they were better able to deal with the conditions and weren’t facing quite such skilful bowling. That will be the case once again in this second match, so expect a similar outcome.
Prediction: Afghanistan win.
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