‘We were never communicated those calculations’ – Trott on missed opportunity

Afghanistan lost out on a Super Four spot in agonising fashion.

Afghanistan’s head coach, Jonathan Trott, made a startling admission following his team’s heartbreaking two-run loss to Sri Lanka in Lahore on Tuesday (September 5). Afghanistan found themselves at 289/8 at the end of the 37th over, needing to score 292 in 37.1 overs to qualify.

This meant they needed three runs off a single delivery to secure their Super 4s berth. Rashid Khan, who had been on a roll up until then, found himself at the non-striker’s end. What he and the other batters didn’t realize was that Afghanistan had until 38.1 to complete the task, assuming they got to 297. So they could have reached 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 to overtake Sri Lanka on NRR.

“We were never communicated those calculations,” he said. “All we were told was that we needed to win in 37.1 overs. We weren’t told what the overs would be if we got 295 or 297. It was never communicated to us that we could win eve after 38.1 overs.”

Mohammad Nabi’s blistering 32-ball 65 sparked Afghanistan’s chase, with notable contributions from skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah. When Najibullah Zadran died after a brief cameo, the equation was reduced to 16 off 10. The southpaw and Rashid had set Afghanistan on the right track before the inevitable letdown. Trott couldn’t pinpoint a single factor that contributed to Afghanistan’s defeat.

“I don’t think there’s one reason we lost the game,” Trott explained. “There are aspects of the game where we could have done better, both today and against Bangladesh.” We got a few things horribly wrong, and it’s cost us. It would have been nice if we could have bowled them a little cheaper. But that was not to be.”