The Netherlands will face Afghanistan in the 34th match of the ICC ODI World Cup on Friday, November 3. The game will be at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
The Dutch are currently ranked eighth in the World Cup standings. They won two out of their six encounters in the tournament, showing flashes of brilliance. Afghanistan has performed even better, securing the sixth spot with three wins in six games.
Scott Edwards and his resilient team have captured the hearts of cricket fans with their remarkable journey in this campaign. While their overall performance has been commendable, their crowning moment arrived against the South African side. The Dutch defied all odds and stunned the cricketing world by outshining the Proteas.
In their recent outing, the Netherlands outclassed Bangladesh, winning by a margin of 87 runs. Yet, they face a formidable challenge in the Afghan squad. The team from Central Asia is now very confident following their triumphs over England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
For Afghanistan, renowned for its bowling prowess, a notable shift has transpired in this World Cup. The emergence of a new generation of world-class batsmen has been spectacular. Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Azmatullah Omarzai have been turning heads with their performances.
Afghanistan’s victory over the current world champions, England, sent shockwaves. Their chase of 283 against Pakistan, culminating in an eight-wicket win, showcased the remarkable progress in the batting lineup. Now, Afghanistan aims to keep its winning momentum as they enter the pitch.
Probable Playing XI
Vikramjit Singh, Max O’Dowd, Wesley Barresi, Colin Ackermann, Scott Edwards (c & wk), Bas de Leede, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Logan van Beek, Shariz Ahmad, Aryan Dutt, Paul van Meekeren.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Paul van Meekeren: The Dutch pacer has been brilliant with the ball for his team in this World Cup. Meekeren has claimed ten wickets so far at an average of 26.50. He is expected to add to his wicket tally against the Afghan batters.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz: The wicketkeeper-batter has amassed over 200 runs for Afghanistan in this World Cup at an average of 37.33 and a strike rate of about 100. Gurbaz is an attacking player, and he will be eager to add to his tally of two fifties in this competition.
Afghanistan are the favourites to win this contest. They have a world-class spin attack that may cause trouble for the Dutch batters. Their batting is also impressive, and they have shown that with their victories against Pakistan, England and Sri Lanka.