Afghanistan v Netherlands, World Twenty20 Qualifiers February 12, 2010

Netherlands seal four-wicket win

Cricinfo staff

Netherlands 132 for 6 (Kervezee 39, Nabi 3-23) beat Afghanistan128 for 9 (Ahmadzai 23, Jonkman 2-23) by four wickets

Afghanistan's dream of a place at the World Twenty20 was placed on standby after their defeat to Netherlands at Dubai International stadium. Put in to bat in an electric atmosphere with a crowd of well over 2,500, Afghanistan were restricted to 128 for 9, with several batsmen making starts but none able to push on for a big score. Alexei Kervezee and Eric Szwarczynski got the chase off to a flier, and Netherlands weathered a late fightback from Mohammad Nabi and Hamid Hassan to register a tense four-wicket win.

Afghanistan had to be on top of their game in the field after posting such a modest total, but they let themselves down with several fielding and bowling lapses to allow Netherlands to take control. Mohammad Shahzad, the wicketkeeper, put down a chance in the first over of Netherlands' chase, and the 18 extras given away did nothing to help Afghanistan's attempts to restrict the scoring. In the tense closing moments of the game, Shapoor Zadran's casual attempt at a catch let Ryan ten Doeschate, the last recognised batsman at the crease, off the hook and he lofted Hassan over mid on three balls later to seal the win.

Zadran's economical opening spells have been one of the vital ingredients in Afghanistan's success in this tournament so far. He leaked runs against Ireland, but gave away just 21 runs in eight overs against Scotland and USA. Admittedly, he would have been frustrated by the missed chance off his third ball today, but he was unforgivably wayward thereafter, giving away four boundaries in his opening spell.

Kervezee provided most of the momentum as Netherlands raced to 64 in under nine overs, but when he was bowled around his legs sweeping at Nabi, Afghanistan sniffed a chance for an unlikely comeback. Nabi held on to a stinging return catch to get rid of Szwarczynski in his next over, and when Bas Zuiderent was trapped in front by Samiullah Shenwari for two, Netherlands had slipped to 74 for 3. Daan van Bunge eased the pressure with a towering six over long off, but when he was dismissed attempting to repeat the shot, the nerves set in.

Hassan has been a talisman for Afghanistan bowling at the death in this format, but without the weight of runs to put pressure on the opposition's batsmen, his effectiveness was limited in this game. As a proven wicket-taker he was also introduced a little too late, when only 39 runs were required off 48 balls. After Peter Borren's senseless run out, Hassan rattled Atse Buurman's stumps with a searing yorker second ball, but ten Doeschate drew on his experience - and took advantage of a dropped catch - to guide Netherlands home with seven balls to spare.

ten Doeschate was named Man of the Match for his efforts, which included Nabi's wicket when Afghanistan batted. That dismissal was the third of the innings, after a double strike by Mark Jonkman, as Afghanistan slipped from 30 without loss to 32 for 3. Jonkman has built up a reputation as one of the quickest bowlers outside the Test arena, but he also exhibited a well-disguised slower ball to bowl Nowroz Mangal for 10.

Confused calling then led to Mohammad Shahzad's run out to reduce Afghanistan to 51 for 4. Raees Ahmadzai collected two fours in his 23 - the highest score of the innings - but after his dismissal wickets fell at regular intervals as Afghanistan slipped to 92 for 7. Ashraf aimed two massive strikes over long on to lift the score in the closing overs, but it was probably 20 runs short of the total Afghanistan needed.

Netherlands will be buoyed by this result, which gives them two valuable points ahead of their second encounter against Ireland tomorrow. Afghanistan carried two points into this round courtesy of their win over Ireland in the group stage, so after today's loss have a winner-takes-all game against UAE, who lost to Ireland.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    Good Luck Afghanistan for next match !

  • Vivek on February 12, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    Come on guys... we are proud of you. All the best

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    afghanistan is now in difficult position to qualify for the final but a tight line is there to reached in the final & i pray to GOD ALMIGHTY that afghan team will play in the final

  • Suresh on February 12, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    SidhantaPatnaik: It means If Afghanisthan wins this series, they will, I say they will play in World Cup T20 in a couple of months.

  • M Vivek on February 12, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    Nederlands will always improve coz they rely mostly on their nationals

  • Andrew on February 12, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    Congrats to the Dutch, it got a bit exciting towards the end but we managed to come through.

    It's good to see that we have a stable opening partnership to get us off to good starts each game.

    Also impressed by M.Jonkmans bowling, as with Seelaars - nice to have to young players performing well!

    Lets hope tomorro we can beat the Irish. It should be a cracking game.

  • Asim on February 12, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Good to see my own team (Afghanistan) , I pray that they win UAE in strong position , but I don't know why Nawroz Mangal pormot himself as an opener?? Why he change linp up ? Noor Ali is fine batsman and he too good to open the bat then why ? and also why Nawroz Mangal pormot Mohammad Nabi ? he is good allrounder and he is set to Bat at number 5,6.I think there is no need to change line up , and i would like to Nawroz Mangal that please take serius, we all wait to our own team and we want and love to see our own team in ICC World 20 . And also i would like this line up to follow in next Game : 1- Mohammad Shahzad 2- Noor Ali 3- Karim Sadiq 4- Nawroz Mangal (cap)5- Asghar Estanikzai 6- Mohammad Nabi 7- Mirwais Ashraf 8- Raes Ahmadzai 9- Samiullah Shinwari 10- Shapoor Zadran 11- Hamid Hassan Inshallah we will win nex Game , and we all pray for our TEAM!!!

  • Sidhanta on February 12, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    What does this mean to Afghanistan's chance of making it to the T20 WC?

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    hard luck. best of luck for the next game.

  • Adil on February 12, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    Thats why we always said :

    Never Celebrate too Early ... one Defeat and bhooom All gone

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