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12 Jan 2022
It was the same old script for the Netherlands as they lost the second game in a row to concede an unassailable lead to Afghanistan in the three-match ODI series going on between the two teams in Doha, Qatar. The series is part of the CWC Super League, works as the qualifying league for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
Much like the first game, Afghanistan weaved a web of spin and even after a fighting knock or lone battle from Scott Edwards with the bat, the Dutch team remained very far away from the target of 238 runs.
Edwards and Musa Ahmed started cautiously and added 21 for the opening wicket before Ahmed was removed by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Coilin Ackermann followed suit and soon the Dutch were 35-2 in the ninth over.
Bas de Leede, who came to bat number four did put up a good resistance, but his innings was way too slow for the liking of even an ODI game. He added 90 for the third wicket alongside Edwards but took 83 balls for his knock of 34 runs, striking at just 40. In fact, the partnership turned out to be a bane in the larger context of the game as the players coming after the fall of de Leede were always under the pressure of scoring at more than run a ball.
Edwards, who hit yet another fifty and improved his career-best once again, missed out on an opportunity to score his first hundred as he got out for 86 off 120 balls. With the fall of his wicket, the fourth overall of the team at 147 with 91 required from 66 balls, the chances of a Dutch comeback also dwindled to its lowest before falling flat completely.
The team was eventually bowed out for 189, a three-run improvement from the previous game, losing the match by 48 runs and eventually losing the series too.
Earlier in the day, after winning the toss and deciding t bat first, Afghanistan rode on the back of a brilliant century by Rahmanullah Gurbaz. The opening batter scored 103 off 127 balls and was helped by important innings of 54 from captain Hashmatullah Shahidi and 35 from Rahmat Shah to take the team to 237-6 eventually.
The third and final game of the series will be played on Tuesday, January 25 at the same venue. No team would take that game lightly as it contains important 10 points for the Super League.