What happened to Afghanistan?
More on the bizarre Net Run Rate (NRR) calculation scenario at the end of today’s Asia Cup game, as no one would have seen such a crazy finish to a ODI.
The ‘target’ for AFG had many scenarios. It was 292 if reached in 37.1 overs. But the ‘target’ could have extended well into the 38th over even if AFG could have got 297! (it is possible to hit a six after leveling the score!)
This was not a ‘target’ to win a particular match; it was actually about how many runs AGF needed to get in how few overs to keep their NRR above SL. And, in this regard, the total stats of both their games should be considered. If the total runs could be increased with a win, the NRR also increases.
Since the ‘target’ was only understood to be 292 in 37.1 overs, AFG (and everyone else, other than the commentators and some media personnel giving live updates on cricket websites) forgot about these different scenarios of ‘targets’ available to AFG, which would have given AFG multiple options to finish with a better NRR than SL and to move to the next round.
This is where the AFG bungling is somewhat different to South Africa’s infamous misreading of the D&L target in the World Cup game against SL in 2003. SA just needed to win that match to move to the Super 6s. When rain started to fall around the 45th over, the batsmen received a message from the dressing room, which indicated SA’s D&L target to be 229 for 6 after 45 overs. However, that was in fact the D&L par score and the SA think-tank failed to inform the batsmen that they needed one more run than 229 (if only 6 wickets were lost) to win the match if the game ended after the 45th over! When Mark Boucher hit Murali’s 5th ball of the 45th over for a six, the batsmen mistakenly believed that SA had reached the D&L target after the 45th over. Hence, Mark Boucher played the last ball of the 45th over defensively to keep his wicket in tact, blissfully unaware that SA had only equaled the D&L par score at that stage! Then the rain arrived and the game ended up with a tie, knocking SA out of the competition.
( The writer is the Chief Regulatory officer , Colombo Stock Exchange)