Fifties from senior pro Najibullah Zadran and debutant Riaz Hassan led Afghanistan to a 3-0 sweep of Netherlands, who were slapped with a five-run penalty by the umpires for ball-tampering.
The penalty was handed down in the 31st over, bowled by Brandon Glover.
What the laws say
41.3 The match ball – changing its condition
41.3.4 If the umpires consider that the condition of the ball has been unfairly changed by a member or members of either side, they shall ask the captain of the opposing side if he/she would like the ball to be replaced. If necessary, in the case of the batting side, the batters at the wicket may deputise for their captain.
188.8.131.52 Regardless of whether a replacement ball has been chosen to be used, the bowler’s end umpire shall
- award five penalty runs to the opposing side.
- if appropriate, inform the batters at the wicket and the captain of the fielding side that the ball has been changed and the reason for their action.
- inform the captain of the batting side as soon as practicable of what has occurred.
After electing to bat, Afghanistan lost their in-form wicketkeeper-opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz (12) to Clayton Floyd, who was playing his first List A match, in the tenth over. Floyd would turn out to be the most economical bowler on the day, coming away with 1 for 17 in his eight overs.
Hassan made it a day to remember for the debutants by bringing up a 72-ball half-century. He got to the landmark when he cracked Glover for four in the 27th over. However, in the very next over, Saqib Zalfiqur had Hassan holing out. Rahmat Shah (48), Hashmatullah Shahidi (28) and Najibullah (71) then gave the innings the boost it needed in the middle and in the slog overs.
Najibullah was particularly severe on Glover, taking him for 24 off a mere ten balls. Glover ended with overall figures of 1 for 64 in his ten overs.
In pursuit of 255, Netherlands had a good start, with Scott Edwards (54) and Colin Ackermann (81) forging a 103-run opening stand. The legspinners Rashid Khan and Qais Ahmad then rattled Netherlands with regular strikes. Six Netherlands batters were dismissed lbw, including both openers Edwards and Ackermann. From 103 for 0, Netherlands subsided to 179 all out, with the third-highest score in the chase being 13.
While Rashid returned 2 for 37, Qais, who was also making his ODI debut, emerged as Afghanistan’s best bowler on the day with 3 for 32. Fazalhaq Farooqi, also making his ODI debut, took 1 for 30.
Afghanistan walked away with the full 30 points from the three-match series, drawing level with Australia with an overall tally of 60 points. Only Sri Lanka, Ireland, Bangladesh and England have more points than Afghanistan now in the Super League.