Afghanistan closing towards ICC Test Challenge; Asghar Stanikzai impressed with performance

Afghanistan are currently leading the ICC Intercontinental Cup Points Table with three wins in four matches

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Asghar Stanikzai praised his bowlers who played an essential role in win against Netherlands © Getty images
Asghar Stanikzai praised his bowlers who played an essential role in win against Netherlands © Getty images

Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai is ecstatic about his team’s win against Netherlands in ICC Intercontinental Cup beating them by an innings and 36 runs. Afghanistan are currently leading the table with three wins under their belt from four matches. These matches being played between the Associate nations trying to make their way to Test status. Ireland (60 points) are not far behind as they are just one point short of Afghanistan (61 points). Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, PNG, Scotland and UAE are currently competing for a chance to play against the 10th ranked Test team in 2018 to earn Test status in 2018. The team winning the ICC Test Challenge will hold onto their Test status until next ICC Test Challenge to be held in 2022.  FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs West Indies 2016, 2nd Test at Kingston

Stanikzai considered this win a big one, he told ICC, “It was really important for us to win and get on top and I’m happy with our overall performance. However, our most important match will be against Ireland as that will decide the real position”. The skipper lauded his bowlers as they wrapped up Netherlands for 117 in first innings and 159 in second innings. Dawlat Zadran picked up seven wickets in the match.

Netherlands skipper Peter Borren was disappointed with his team’s performance as he said, “Posting 117 as a first innings score on a good wicket was never enough. Our dismissals were poor to say the least, and we never really showed any fight. The depth that Afghanistan have is impressive, and is something that other Associate teams envy, I’m sure. They have quality batters with (Mohammad) Nabi batting at seven, and a lot of options with the ball, which makes them serious contenders for the ICC Intercontinental Cup.”

Netherlands are currently on the third spot on the Points table with two wins from four games and 46 points. Ireland will be aiming the first spot as they face Hong Kong on August 30. Ireland have three wins from three games in the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

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