ICC World Cricket League Division One, 7th day July 10, 2010

Afghanistan secure third place

Cricinfo staff

Half-centuries from Mohammad Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai helped Afghanistan secure a comfortable five-wicket victory in the third-place play-off against Netherlands in Rotterdam. Their bowlers restricted Netherlands to 218 for 5, a target that was achieved with four overs to spare.

Afghanistan's bowlers kept the hosts' batsmen in check after Peter Borren chose to bat, with Mirwais Ashraf inducing edges from both openers. Netherlands were unsteady at 27 for 2 but the innings recovered through a partnership of 78 between Top Cooper and Borren. While Netherlands did not lose wickets, they did not raise the tempo either with Borren consuming 71 balls for his 28.

Cooper also took 135 deliveries and was bowled on 96 when he played around a delivery from Aftab Alam. The much-needed momentum for Netherlands was provided by Wesley Barresi, who made an unbeaten 51 off 40 balls. His half-century included three clean sixes, two down the ground and one over midwicket.

Afghanistan also lost their openers early to Mudassar Bukhari, who had Shabir Noori caught behind and Javed Ahmadi caught at point. Like in Netherlands' innings, it was the third-wicket stand that put Afghanistan on course: Nowroz Mangal and Shahzad added 78.

Stanikzai joined Shahzad after Mangal was caught at first slip with the score on 83 and they shut Netherlands out of the game. Shahzad compiled a steady 82 while Stanikzai provided impetus with a brisk 64. Both batsmen were eventually caught by Bernard Loots at mid off and long on but the job was almost done. Karim Sadiq ensured Afghanistan got over the line in the 46th over.

Canada secured fifth place by completing a three-wicket win with four balls to spare against Kenya in Schiedam. Kenya were shot out for 190 after they were put in, with Canada's new-ball bowlers, Harvir Baidwan and Umar Bhatti, taking two wickets apiece. Rizwan Cheema was the most successful bowler, taking 3 for 39 in ten overs. Thomas Odoyo top-scored with 39 and there were similar nuggety contributions from others. What the innings lacked, however, was a performance of substance.

Canada's chase also suffered from the lack of a substantial score and, at 81 for 5, Kenya had a chance. Zubin Surkari, however, made a middle-order contribution of 49 and it was enough to steer Canada to victory in the 50th over.