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‘Unaware’ of winning calculations, Afghanistan bow out of Asia Cup 2023

The Afghanistan batters reportedly had no idea that they could still make the Super Fours after missing the first target to beat Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan ‘s Rashid Khan wears a dejected look after his team failed to make the Super Four stage in Asia Cup 2023 as it lost to Sri Lanka by two runs in a Group B game at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. (Picture: Rashid Khan X account/@rashidkhan_19)

By: Shubham Ghosh

WHILE Afghanistan had a massive heartbreak on Tuesday (5) as they went down fighting against defending champions Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, the losing side was even more upset saying it was not aware of the exact calculations to reach the final by pipping the opponents with a superior net run rate (NRR).

Chasing a target of 292 in 37.1 overs to make the Super Four stage along with Bangladesh, Afghanistan came up with a brilliant batting display and almost drove home before losing their last two wickets quickly to get bowled out for 289. They were 289 for 9 at the end of 37.1 overs and going by the fact that their No.11 batter Fazalhaq Farooqi blocked the next two balls, it was clear that the chasing side was not aware of having more chances still to make to the Super Fours.

The body language of Rashid Khan, who sank to his knees after seeing his batting partner Mujeeb ur Rahman getting caught on the long-on boundary in the first ball of the 38th over, also suggested that even he was not aware. Khan had hit three boundaries in the 37th over to bring his side on the cusp of victory.

It was later learnt that Afghanistan could still end above Sri Lanka in the points table with a superior NRR had they reached 293 after 37.2 overs, 294 after 37.3 overs, 296 after 38 overs or 297 after 38.1 overs.

After the game got over, Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott said the officials hadn’t informed his team of the said conditions.

“We were never communicated those calculations,” he said, according to an NDTV report. “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,” the report added.

However, the former England cricketer did not blame any single factor for Afghanistan’s early exit from the tournament.

“I don’t think there’s one reason we lost the game,” Trott said. “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.”

Afghanistan lost their first match against Bangladesh by 89 runs at the same venue on Sunday (3).

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