ICC World Cup: Netherlands to face Afghanistan in Lucknow
In ICC World Cup, Netherlands will take on Afghanistan at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow in the ICC World Cup. The 34th match between the two teams as part of the World Cup will start at 2 pm.
These are interesting times in the World Cup with the business end of the competition fast approaching. Matches assume a lot of significance as they determine the top four teams, with the race now being given a fillip following New Zealand’s three straight losses. Pakistan have certainly benefited from this as there is a possibility of them making the semis cut. But there’s another side very much in the reckoning. Afghanistan, possibly the second best Asian team now in this tournament, will be hoping to take major strides towards the semifinals, having beaten three former champions already.
With three wins and as many losses, Afghanistan have six points at the moment and are currently placed sixth. But they have played one game less than the fifth-placed Pakistan who also have the same number of points. Although their net run rate is in the negative, Afghanistan will be on level pegging with New Zealand should they win the match in Lucknow on Friday (November 3). But the Netherlands aren’t a team to be written off. Having registered victories against South Africa and Bangladesh, they will be eyeing more success and prove yet again why they are not in this World Cup to just make the numbers.
Afghanistan’s back-to-back success against Pakistan and Sri Lanka came in clinical run-chases while the Netherlands have been far more comfortable defending totals, which adds another layer of interest to this contest. Breaking down the target into slabs on the whiteboard won’t work if Afghanistan happen to bat first. Their top five have got the job done with minimum fuss, employing the old-school methods approaching a chase. But if they are to chase big totals, or need to set one, they need to get their strike rate up higher than their current 81.72, which is the eighth lowest among the participating teams in this World Cup.
Speaking about top orders and strike rates, the Netherlands numbers aren’t too encouraging. Their top five have contributed the least runs among all teams in this competition – 582 at an average of 19.40 with a combined strike rate of 71.14. They were 91/6 against Sri Lanka, bowled out for 90 by Australia, and even in their wins against South Africa and Bangladesh, the Dutch needed their middle order, led by skipper Scott Edwards, to bail them out and help them post challenging totals. The Netherlands will be hoping for a better showing from the top order as they look to add more intrigue to the race for the final four.
Netherlands Squad: Vikramjit Singh, Max ODowd, Wesley Barresi, Colin Ackermann, Scott Edwards(w/c), Bas de Leede, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Logan van Beek, Shariz Ahmad, Aryan Dutt, Paul van Meekeren, Saqib Zulfiqar, Teja Nidamanuru, Ryan Klein, Roelof van der Merwe
Afghanistan Squad: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi(c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil(w), Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Noor Ahmad, Riaz Hassan, Abdul Rahman, Najibullah Zadran