AFG vs SL Asia Cup 2023 NRR miscalculation Jonathan Trott Rashid Khan Afghanistan 37.1 oversnewsbhunt

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Curated By: Aakash Biswas

Last Updated: September 06, 2023, 09:22 IST

Afghanistan had to pay a huge price of NRR miscalculation (ACC Photo)

Afghanistan had to pay a huge price of NRR miscalculation (ACC Photo)

Afghanistan were required to chase down the target in less than 40 overs so as to surpass Sri Lanka with a better Net Run Rate. However, a sheer miscalculation let the Lankans cruise into the next round of the tournament

The clash between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday in Lahore turned out to be the most engaging contest in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. The defending champions outsmarted the Afghans by 2 runs in what was a do-or-die game for both teams. After suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Bangladesh, Afghanistan had to win this game by a huge margin. They were required to chase down the target in less than 40 overs so as to surpass Sri Lanka with a better Net Run Rate (NRR). However, a sheer miscalculation let the Lankans cruise into the next round of the tournament.

Asia Cup 2023 Full Schedule | Asia Cup 2023 Complete Results | Asia Cup 2023 Full Coverage

Sri Lanka set a 291-run target which Afghanistan needed to chase in 37.1 overs. After the openers faltered, the middle-order fueled the chase with some scintillating knocks. Mohammad Nabi struck a 32-ball 65 while skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 59 off 66 balls to keep Afghanistan in the hunt. The likes of Karim Janat and Najibullah Zadran made some notable contributions towards the end but the onus eventually came to Rashid Khan who smashed three boundaries in the 37th over.

With three needed off the next one ball, Afghanistan’s hopes were pinned on Mujeeb Ur Rahman but unfortunately, he ended up holing it out to Sadeera Samarawickrama at long-on. The entire Afghan dressing room was shattered while Rashid, who was the non-striker’s end, was dismayed and went down on his knees.

Despite Mujeeb’s dismissal, Afghanistan still had a chance to peep Sri Lanka if they had smashed a six in one of the next three deliveries. But surprisingly, no one in the dressing room was aware of this calculation which was evident by the way the last man Fazalhaq Farooqi played the next three balls. He blocked back-to-back deliveries before getting trapped in front.

NRR calculations are usually done by the team analyst but in Afghanistan’s case, it seemed to be a huge miscommunication. They were so focused on chasing the target in 37.1 overs that didn’t know they could have still crossed the line.

Head coach Jonathan Trott opened up on the qualification scenario blunder, stating that match officials did not inform them of the finer NRR permutations.

“We were never communicated those calculations,” Trott said in the post-match press conference.

“All we were communicated was we needed to win in 37.1 overs. We weren’t told what the overs in which we could get 295 or 297. [That we could win in] 38.1 overs was never communicated to us

“I don’t think there’s one reason we lost the game. There are areas of the game we could have done better [in] and that goes for today’s game and the one against Bangladesh. We got some things horribly wrong in a few areas and it’s cost us. It’d be nice if we’d bowled them out a bit cheaper. But it wasn’t to be,” he added.

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