Afghanistan v Netherlands, ICC WCL Championship, Sharjah March 31, 2012

Sadiq century leads Afghanistan to win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 259 for 5 (Sadiq 100, Mangal 45*) beat Netherlands 256 for 9 (Swart 52, Cooper 52, Barresi 51, Dawlatzai 4-38) by five wickets

Karim Sadiq and Izatullah Dawlatzai starred as Afghanistan hit back with a five-wicket win against Netherlands after having been thrashed by nine wickets two days ago. Dawlatzai led with four wickets as Afghanistan restricted Netherlands to 256 for 9. Sadiq cracked 100 off only 74 deliveries at the top to leave the middle order with enough space to motor to victory in the 47th over.

Netherlands were left to rue several wasted starts with Nos. 2 to 5 departing for individual scores between 47 and 52. Dawlatzai, the 20-year old fast bowler, jolted Netherlands with a strike in his second over, the fourth of the innings, when he bowled Stephan Myburgh for 5. Michael Swart (52) and Alexei Kervezee (47) settled the innings but departed in the space of 16 runs. It was the turn of Tom Cooper (52) and Wesley Barresi (51) to put on another substantial partnership that took Netherlands past 200 from 112 for 3.

At 206 for 4 in the 42nd over, Netherlands were eyeing a big finish but Cooper fell to Javed Ahmadi and Dawlatzai took out Barresi in the next over. Netherlands could not get going at the death, but Afghanistan still had a testing target.

Sadiq launched the chase with a stroke-filled innings, hitting 12 fours and four sixes in an opening partnership of 141 inside 20 overs with Ahmadi (43). Though Sadiq was bowled by Peter Borren immediately after reaching his hundred, Mohammad Shahzad (37) and captain Nawroz Mangal carried Afghanistan past 200. Mangal remained unbeaten on 45 as victory was achieved with 22 balls to spare.