Cricket World Cup 2023: Hashmatullah Shahidi has led the Afghans admirably

Afghanistan have to keep their winning streak going and beat Netherlands on Friday

By Ayaz Memon

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Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi during a practice session. — AFP
Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi during a practice session. — AFP

Published: Thu 2 Nov 2023, 9:12 PM

Dramatic victories over Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the last week have given Afghanistan’s World Cup campaign a massive surge, opening up prospects of a place in the semifinals. That is dependent on multiple things falling into place - how they perform in their remaining three matches as well as how Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan fare from here.

How this unfolds remains to be seen, but the next few days in the tournament will be fascinating.


First things first, though, Afghanistan have to keep their winning streak going and beat Netherlands on Friday. Two more points will draw them level with Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand have been stalled on eight points for a while, losing three matches in a row.


Australia, who came back strongly after losing their first two matches, have lost maverick Glenn Maxwell, who hit a hurricane century just the other day, to a freak injury and he will miss the next match against England.

In many ways, this match against Netherlands comes at the right time for Afghanistan. The team is on a roll and it’s clicking on all fronts.

Before the tournament, spin bowling was Afghanistan’s main strength. The past few matches have seen them excel in batting, and fast bowling too.

Add to this, the grit and ambition that they have displayed and you have a side that the Dutch, barring the wildly unexpected, will find difficult to stop.

All-rounder Bas de Leede has had a mixed tournament, but remains his team’s best bet to scuttle the determined Afghans.

For Afghanistan, a lot will depend on Hashmatullah Shahidi, who has enjoyed a good tournament as a batsman, playing some crucial knocks.

But he has stood out more for his captaincy which has been positive and tactically sound, especially in the way he has handled his spin resources.

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