Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Afghanistan’s victory over Dutch boosts world Cup semi-final hopes

Lucknow, 4 November, 2023 (GNP): In a remarkable display of cricketing prowess, Afghanistan secured a seven-wicket victory over the Netherlands in a pivotal World Cup match held on Friday. Chasing a target of 180 runs, Afghanistan achieved victory with 111 balls to spare, bolstering their chances of advancing to the World Cup semi-finals.

This victory marks Afghanistan’s fourth win in the tournament, adding to their impressive triumphs over renowned cricketing nations, including defending champions England, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

The team’s performance has earned them eight points in the tournament standings, placing them on par with Australia and New Zealand, who currently occupy two of the sought-after semi-final qualifying positions.

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With an unblemished record, India has already secured a place in the semi-finals, and South Africa is on the verge of joining them.

Afghanistan’s next challenge awaits on Tuesday, a highly anticipated encounter with five-time champions Australia. In an earlier incident this year, Australia controversially canceled a series against Afghanistan as a protest against what they claimed was the Taliban’s treatment of women.

The key figures in Afghanistan’s victory included Rahmat Shah, who secured his third consecutive half-century, and the team’s captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, who played a resilient, unbeaten innings of 56. Shah’s impressive form, with scores of 77 against Pakistan and 62 against Sri Lanka, solidified Afghanistan’s path to success.

During the match against the Netherlands, Rahmat Shah scored a 54-ball 52, adorned with eight boundaries, and established a vital 74-run third-wicket partnership with Shahidi. The team was well-positioned for victory when Shah was dismissed, caught and bowled by Saqib Zulfiqar, with 129 runs on the board.

Hashmatullah Shahidi contributed with a steady 56 from 64 balls, marking his third consecutive fifty, following remarkable performances against India and Sri Lanka.