Net Run Rate Controversy Strikes As ‘Unaware’ Afghanistan Bow Out Of Asia Cup 2023

Afghanistan bowed out of Asia Cup 2023 following their defeat against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 Group B match. But, Afghanistan coach claimed that his team was unaware of the exact NRR calculations.

The Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2023 match turned out to be a thriller on Tuesday. Sri Lanka secured a win while managing to defend a total of 291 runs against a spirited Afghanistan side that tried to get to the target under 37 overs. The end result was Afghanistan getting bowled out for 289 in 37.4 overs. However, after the match, a controversy over the Net Run Rate struck, with the Afghans claiming that they were not informed of the exact calculations by the match officials.

Afghanistan tried to reach the target of 292 runs in 37.1 overs which would’ve given them the edge, in comparison to the NRR of Sri Lanka. But, what they were not aware was the fact that they had a chance of qualifying for the Super-4 stage even after they had failed to reach the target of 292 runs in 37.1 overs.

As 37 overs concluded, Afghanistan were 289 for 8. The qualification condition meant that they had to score three runs off one ball to win while bettering Sri Lanka’s NRR.

On the bowling of Dhananjaya de Silva, Mujeeb ur Rahman went for a big hit and was caught on the long-on boundary. Non-striker Rashid Khan sank to his knees, thinking Afghanistan’s journey in the tournament was over. But, that wasn’t the case.

It was later learned that Afghanistan would’ve finished above Sri Lanka’s NRR if they got to 293 after 37.2 overs, 294 after 37.3 overs, 295 after 37.5 overs, 296 after 38 overs, or 297 after 38.1 overs.

After the match, Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott said that the officials didn’t inform his team of the said conditions.

“We were never communicated those calculations,” he said. “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.”

However, Trott refused to pin blame on a single factor for the team’s exit from the Asia Cup 2023.

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

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