Netherlands 181 (de Grooth 54, Nabi 4-52, Hassan 4-45) lead Afghanistan 107 (Mangal 41) by 74 runs
Twenty wickets fell on the first day of Netherlands and Afghanistan's ICC Intercontinental Cup clash at Amstelveen, as the home side gained a 74-run lead. Afghanistan are only playing their second match in this tournament, and their inexperience in foreign climes cost them dear when they were rolled for 107 in 36.5 overs.
Afghanistan produced what was thought to be an exceptional bowling display, with Hamid Hassan and Mohammed Nabi bagging four wickets a piece, to dismiss Netherlands for 181. But their efforts on the bowler-friendly wicket were soon over-shadowed by a calamitous batting performance, as Netherlands took no prisoners in their reply.
Afghanistan began woefully, losing four wickets within the first nine overs with ten runs on the board. Noor Ali failed to reproduce the form he displayed against Zimbabwe XI last week, as he was trapped in front off Mudassar Bukhari without scoring. Ahmed Shah soon followed him back to the pavilion after being run out for one by Daan van Bunge who threw in from wide mid off. Edgar Schiferli continued the rout by bowling Mohammed Shahzad for nine, then Asghar Stanikzai was caught low down by Wesley Barresi off Schiferli for a sixth-ball duck.
Netherlands were understandably chirpy in the field by this point, but a fifty partnership between Nowroz Mangal and Raees Ahmadzai brought some hope to the visitors. The storm wasn't calm for long however, as Ahmadzai played one straight back to Seelar who snapped him up, caught and bowled, for 27, with the score at 60 for 5.
Captain Mangal stuck in there resolutely as wickets fell around him; Peter Borren being the main culprit, dismissing Nabi for 13, who was caught by Bas Zuiderent, and the spectacular clean-up of Samuillah Shenwari, whose leg-stump was sent cartwheeling as he was bowled for 5. But Mangal's resistance finally came unstuck as he played straight to Zuiderent at cover point off Borren for 41.
It didn't take much for Seelaar to wrap up the innings, taking the final two wickets with considerable ease. He dispatched Shapoor Zadran leg-before with considerable guile, as the flighted delivery hit the back pad sending Zadran packing for 4. The final wicket came as Hassan skied a huge drive off Seelaar down the throat of Mark Jonkman on the long-off boundary.
Earlier, Borren was ruing the decision to bat first on what turned out to be a tricky wicket, as his side fell to 75 for 3 at lunch. If it wasn't for an impressive knock from Tom de Grooth, who scored 54 before caught and bowled by Nabi, the state of play at the end of the first day could have been very different.