Afghanistan’s World Cup hopes were boosted with a seven-wicket victory over the Netherlands in a low-scoring group match on Friday.
With this win, Afghanistan moved up to fifth place in the standings with eight points, just behind New Zealand on net run rate, as the top four teams advanced to the semi-finals.
In this tournament held in India, Afghanistan has recorded four wins, including victories over defending champions England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, a significant improvement from their previous World Cup performances.
Afghanistan’s remarkable victory has brought them level with Australia and New Zealand, all with eight points each, leaving only net run-rate as the factor separating them from the coveted top four positions.
Hashmatullah Shahidi’s unbeaten 56 played a pivotal role in Afghanistan’s convincing win, as they effortlessly chased down the 180-run target with a remarkable 18.3 overs to spare.
This victory sets the stage for a potentially decisive showdown against Australia in Mumbai on Tuesday. However, the five-time champions still have a game against England on Saturday.
Afghanistan’s remaining fixture against the in-form South Africa adds another layer of anticipation to their quest for a semi-final berth.
Meanwhile, Pakistan remains a strong contender in the race for the top four. It has the opportunity to reach eight points if they can overcome New Zealand in Saturday’s early match, ensuring an exciting and competitive conclusion to the group stage.
This victory keeps Afghanistan’s dream of reaching the World Cup semi-finals alive and solidifies its reputation as a competitive force in international cricket.