GameDay Squad Cricket Match Preview: Afghanistan come up against Netherlands in the 34th match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in Lucknow on the 3rd of November.
Afghanistan played Sri Lanka in their sixth match of the CWC, and Afghanistan won by 7 wickets. Afghanistan won the toss and elected to field first. They were able to strike early with the ball and dismissed Karunaratne in the 6th over with the score at 22. Afghanistan bowled well, and they were able to pick up regular wickets. Sri Lanka ended up being all out for 241 in the 50th over. Afghanistan weren’t off to the best of starts with the bat as they lost the wicket of Gurbaz on the fourth ball of the innings. After this dismissal it was all Afghanistan and they only lost two more wickets as they reached the 242-run target in the 46th over.
The top performers in GDS for Afghanistan were.
Fazalhaq Farooqi – 145 points
Azmatullah Omarzai – 134 points
Rahmat Shah – 77 points
Hashmatullah Shahidi – 70 points
Mujeeb Ur Rahman – 69 points
Netherlands played Bangladesh in their sixth match of the CWC, and Netherlands won by 87 runs. Netherlands won the toss and elected to bat first. They were off to a wobbly start and found themselves 4/2 in the 3rd over. The Dutch batsmen found it hard to score runs and they continued to lose wickets frequently. Netherlands made it to a total of 229 at the end of their 50 overs. They started well with the ball, and they had both Bangladesh openers back inside the pavilion before the end of the first power play. The Dutch bowlers kept the pressure on, and they were able to pick up the Bangladesh wickets frequently. Bangladesh ended up being bowled out for 142 in the 43rd over.
The top performers in GDS for Netherlands were.
Aryan Dutt – 132 points
Scott Edwards – 120 points
Paul van Meekeren – 114 points
Bas de Leede – 112 points
Logan van Beek – 105 points
Ekana International Cricket & Pitch Information
The pitch at Ekana International Cricket Stadium has a reputation of favoring spin bowlers. The climate of Lucknow frequently leans towards the warmer side and potentially leading to the pitch drying out. If this occurs, the pitch will be even more favorable to the spinners. However, after IPL 2023 the pitches at this stadium were all re-laid. There have been four games at the ground so far this CWC. Two have been won by the team batting first and two by the chasing team with the highest first innings score being 311. This is even the highest first innings score out of all the 16 ODIs at this ground. Over these four matches we have seen the seam bowlers take 39 wickets and spin bowlers take 23 wickets.
Afganistan vs Netherlands predicted XIs
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq/Noor Ahmad and Fazalhaq Farooqi
Netherlands: Max O'Dowd, Vikramjit Singh, Wesley Barresi, Colin Ackermann, Scott Edwards, Bas de Leede, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Logan van Beek, Shariz Ahmad, Aryan Dutt and Paul van Meekeren
Who to play in your GDS starting XI
The three batters that I am likely going to start will be Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Max O’Dowd. Over the CWC these batters average the following points in GDS.
Ibrahim Zadran – 49 points
Hashmatullah Shahidi – 45 points
Max O’Dowd – 12 points
In GDS there are only five players combined from Afghanistan and Netherlands that have a batter position designation. Only three of these five players are predicted to play so the selection process for GDS coaches is an easy one for this match.
The four all-rounders that I am likely going to start will be Azmatullah Omarzai, Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede and Logan van Beek. Over the CWC these all-rounders average the following points in GDS.
Azmatullah Omarzai – 71 points
Colin Ackermann – 73 points
Bas de Leede – 89 points
Logan van Beek – 101 points
In GDS there are eleven players combined from Afghanistan and Netherlands that have the all-rounder position designation. Eight of these eleven players are predicted to play, three from Afghanistan and five from Netherlands. All the above all-rounders average at least 20 points more than my fifth ranked all-rounder (Mohammad Nabi) in this match. I really don’t think I can look past these four all-rounds as they have all either performed with the bat or ball regularly in this CWC. I believe these four players also can produce a higher ceiling than any of the other all-rounders predicted to play.
If you don’t have the suggested players in your squad, I have ranked the remaining all-rounders for Afghanistan and Netherlands in the following order. Mohammad Nabi, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Rahmat Shah and Vikram Singh.
The three bowlers that I am likely going to start will be Rashid Khan, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Aryan Dutt. Over the CWC these bowlers average the following points in GDS.
Rashid Khan – 67 points
Fazalhaq Farooqi – 57 points
Aryan Dutt – 91 points
In GDS there are ten players combined from Afghanistan and Netherlands that have the bowler position designation. Seven of these ten players are predicted to play, four from Afghanistan and three from Netherlands. I believe that this position will cause GDS coaches the most selection headaches for this match. I will be making my final decision at the toss on who I’ll play but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be sticking with the above three suggested players no matter which way the toss goes. The pick of these bowlers for me is Dutt. He has been having an outstanding tournament and has picked up eight wickets over the six matches he has played. Batsmen have found it very difficult to score runs off him and the most runs he has gone for is 48. Dutt can also produce sneaky upside through maidens as he bowled six of them throughout the tournament. Now this is where it gets tricky with the selections, and I lean towards Khan and Farooqi as my other two bowlers. I did have Khan, Mujeeb and Ahmad all bracketed as spin options but settled on Khan due to his experience at this level. He offers the safer floor of the three but hasn’t produced that one big game yet in fantasy terms like the other two have. My Farooqi selection makes me nervous but this selection is based on his last performance where he picked up four wickets and my fade of the Dutch top order. The Dutch openers O’Dowd and Singh have failed to impress me so far and out of their 12 combined innings, there has only been two scores of 20+ from them. Both batsmen have been dismissed three times for less than ten runs and I think Farooqi may have a good chance to dismiss one if not both.
If you don’t have the suggested players in your squad, I have ranked the remaining bowlers for Afghanistan and Netherlands in the following order. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq/Noor Ahmad, Paul van Meekeren and Shariz Ahmad.
The wicket keeper that I am likely going to start will be Scott Edwards. Over the CWC these wicket keepers average the following points in GDS.
Scott Edwards – 62 points
Wesley Barresi – 53 points
Rahmanullah Gurbaz – 51 points
Ikram Alikhil – 28 points
Edwards has offered the best fantasy production behind the stumps compared to the other three options in this match. He has also had a couple of very handy knocks with the bat. Barresi and Gurbaz are both very good POD options as they can have a big score in them batting up the top of their respective batting orders. I lean more towards Gurbaz out of these two, mainly because he’s played more games this tournament and is more used to the Indian pitches than Barresi is.
If you don’t have the suggested player in your squad, I have ranked the remaining wicket keepers for Afghanistan and Netherlands in the following order. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Wesley Barresi and Ikram Alikhil.