Intercontinental Cup – Bowlers give Afghanistan the edge
A strong performance by its bowlers on Day 1 of the ICC Intercontinental Cup match against the Netherlands helped Afghanistan take first day honours.
The Asian side scored 145 for 4 at stumps on Friday (July 29), taking a 28-run first-innings lead after having bowled the home team out for 117 earlier in the day.
Having chosen to bowl, Afghanistan made optimal use of the thick cloud cover over Sportpark Westvliet in The Hague to restrict the Netherlands to a modest total.
Yamin Ahmadzai and Dawlat Zadran were the chief architects of the Dutch collapse, sharing nine wickets between them. Ahmadzai, the right-arm seamer playing his seventh first-class game, returned figures 5 for 29, while Zadran finished with 4 for 32.
Barring Pieter Seelar (38*), the middle-order batsman, no other Dutch batsman could cross 25 runs. Seelar’s seventh-wicket partnership of 36 with Mudassar Bukhari (16) was the most productive for the home side. Michael Rippon, the opener, showed some promise with a knock of 24, but was knocked over by Ahmadzai.
In response, Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah, the Afghanistan openers, were removed cheaply raising hopes for the Netherlands to settle scores, but Rahmat Shah and Nasir Jamal put paid to that with a solid 83-run stand for the third wicket.
By the time Jamal was dismissed for a steely 51, Afghanistan had eked out a slender lead and had seven wickets in hand to build on it. That figure soon reduced to six when Roelof van der Merwe dismissed Jamal for 43.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (9*) and Asghar Stanikzai (6*) played cautiously to ensure no further casualty before stumps.
Vivian Kingma, the 21-year-old right-arm Netherlands seamer, was responsible for both the opening wickets, finishing the day on 2 for 25.