Back to overview

The third and final One Day International against Afghanistan in Doha proved to be too difficult a task for the Dutch national team. Afghanistan recorded the highest score of the Series: 254/7. Despite a superb start by Edwards and Ackermann (103 for the first wicket), the Orange – just like in the previous two games – failed to chase this score.

Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat; a logical choice on a used pitch that would not get better during the course of the day. As coach Campbell had already announced, there were some changes in the Dutch team. Fred Klaassen, Musa Ahmed and Ryan Klein were replaced by Brandon Glover, Aryan Dutt and left arm spinner Clayton Floyd.

Floyd opened the bowling with Kingma and was close to success in the sixth over when opener Riaz got an outside edge. The ball changed direction through ‘keeper Edwards, making slip Seelaar unable to catch the ball. In the eighth over Floyd was again close to taking a wicket. Gurbaz, Sunday’s centurion, hit the ball towards long off. Unfortunately for the Netherlands, the fielder was unable to hold the catch.

In his first over, Brandon Glover seemed to have Gurbaz lbw. However, the appeal was rejected. Fortunately for the Netherlands, this was not too expensive. In the tenth over Floyd got his reward when Gurbaz got a top edge that was caught by slip Seelaar: 22/1.

Philippe Boissevain almost got Rahmat Shah stumped on 9. His right foot seemed to be in the air at the moment of the stumping, but the images were not 100% conclusive.

After twenty overs, Afghanistan had made 70/1, so only 3.5 runs per over. As on Friday and Sunday, Afghanistan failed to accelerate in this phase.

Legspinner Saqib Zulfiqar opted for a somewhat different line of attack than his colleague Boissevain. Boissevain usually bowls around middle and off and aims for an outside edge, or lets his topspinner or googly do their job. Saqib bowled around the legstump, in the rough. Initially, that approach resulted in a few singles on the legside — and Riaz escaped because there was no long-on when he played a lofted on drive. In the 28th over, however, Saqib’s approach was successful when Riaz (50) hit a big outside edge to Bas de Leede at point: 108/2.

As in the first two games, Afghanistan held wickets in hand and there was always a total of around 250 in the offing. The Dutch bowling was not bad at this stage: Afghanistan only reached 100 after 26 overs, and after thirty overs the score was 114/2.

In the 31st over, the Netherlands were penalised with five penalty runs for alleged ball tampering. Glover got his revenge when he dismissed Rahmat Shah (48). The ball went to backward point like a rocket, where Bas de Leede grabbed a great catch: 128/3 in the 33rd over. After forty overs, Afghanistan had progressed less than forty runs: 167/3.

In the 44th over, captain Hashmatullah fell victim to an arm ball from the excellent bowling offspinner Aryan Dutt: 191/4.

Lefthander Najibullah lived up to his reputation as a pinchhitter. He reached his 50 in the 47th over from Glover, which cost 17 runs. Viv Kingma seemed to outwit Najibullah with his slower ball, simply captured in the covers by Boissevain. Unfortunately for the Netherlands, it was a no-ball. Kingma still took the wicket from Najibullah (71), but misfields and a poor final over by Glover (1-64 in 10) meant a final score of 254/5.

The Netherlands used no less than eight bowlers, with economy rates ranging from 2.12 to 8.50. Clayton Floyd underlined his candidacy as a left-arm spinner. The fielding of the Netherlands was mediocre, with Bas de Leede among others as a positive exception.

Innings Netherlands

Keeping Musa Ahmed out of the team meant that Colin Ackermann was promoted to opening batter. That turned out to be a successful strategy. Together with Scott Edwards he easily went to 50/0 in ten overs. Both batsmen took full advantage of the fielding restrictions in the first powerplay and rotated the strike well, although they were also helped by misfields, bad throws and a dropped catch at backward point (on Ackermann). The openers made 103 runs before Edwards (a solid 54 and his third half century in a row) went lbw.

Meanwhile, Ackermann was playing a fantastic knock. After the quick departure of Seelaar to left arm seamer Fareed Ahmad (107/2/24) there was a new opportunity for young Boris Gorlee. His mission was clear: to give Ackermann the strike. Ackermann reached his first ODI-50 in the 25th over. But opener Fazalhaq Farooqi came back and got Gorlee lbw: 123/3 in the 27th.

In the 34th over Bas de Leede decided to try a reverse sweep off Mujeeb, which resulted in a dolly to fly slip: 151/4. Afghanistan smelled blood and brought Rashid Khan back into the attack. The legspinner provided the breakthrough when he got Ackermann lbw with a topspinner for a well-made 81: 153/5 in the 35th over.

Aryan Dutt seemed to start a bit late when Saqib Zulfiqar called him up for a short single: 159/6. Clayton Floyd and Philippe Boissevain could not make the difference either. When Saqib Zulfiqar (13) and Viv Kingma were also given lbw, the Orange had lost nine wickets for 76 runs in twenty overs. Netherlands 179 all out. The 21-year-old legspinner Qais Ahmad, who plays for Kent, took 3-32. Afghanistan wins the Series 3-0.

Scorecard click here.

Conclusion of the Series

Despite the 3-0 loss, it was certainly not so that Afghanistan was better on all fronts. The Netherlands ensured that Afghanistan did not set monster scores, but lacked depth in the batting line-up when chasing. One or two reliable batsmen in the middle order who can make 30 or 40 runs, and all three matches could have been won.

Of course, the absence of Max O’Dowd and a number of county players was a big issue. But these three games showed that their stand-ins are not yet ready for the big stage. On the other hand, it has to be said that the seamers of Afghanistan were excellent and the spinners Mujeeb and Khan are world class.