Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan’s pictures of sinking on his knees with hands on his forehead are flooded on social media. This depicts how heartbroken the team must have been after presuming they were out of the race to the Super Fours of the ongoing Asia Cup while mathematically they still had a chance of going through.
Explaining the scenario after the shocking 2-run loss against Sri Lanka in Lahore, Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott said his team were unaware of the run rate calculations.
Afghanistan, who needed to chase the 292-run target in 37.1 overs, looked all set for victory and a place in the Super 4s as they were well-placed on 289 for 8 at the end of the 37th over, with three needed from one ball with two wickets in hand.
But once Mujeeb ur Rahman was caught at long-on, the non-striker Rashid Khan sank to his knees, presuming that Afghanistan had missed their chance. However, mathematically they were still in the race to the knockout stages. They could have finished above Sri Lanka’s net-run-rate had they reached 293 after 37.2 overs, 294 after 37.3, 295 after 37.5 overs, 296 after 38 overs, or 297 after 38.1 overs.
A boundary from the next batter Fazalhaq Farooqi or giving the strike to the well-set Rashid by taking a single could have done the job for the Afghans. Instead, all Farooqi could manage was to block the next two deliveries before being trapped in front, thus ending their chances of winning the contest and moving to the Super Fours.
After the match, Trott said that his team was not informed of the net run rate requirements.
“We were never communicated those calculations. All we were communicated was we needed to win in 37.1 overs. We were not 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,” Trott said.
Trott felt his bowlers could have done better in the tournament.
“I do not think there is one reason we lost the game. There are areas of the game we could have done better and that goes for today’s game and the one against Bangladesh. We got some things horribly wrong in a few areas and it has cost us. It would be nice if we had bowled them out a bit cheaper. But it was not to be,” the Englishman added.
Sri Lanka along with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh qualified for the Super 4s stage, with the two top teams advancing to the Asia Cup final in Colombo on September 17.