On Tuesday, September 5, Sri Lanka locked horns with Afghanistan in Lahore in the sixth fixture of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. In what was expected to be a thrilling-decisive encounter, things took a bizarre turn and Afghanistan missed out on their chance to qualify for Super Four by two runs. While the team was slammed by cricketing stalwarts, Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle expressed his views on the same and compared the controversy with the IPL 2014 controversy between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.
The Indian journalist took to Twitter and wrote, “While we talk of the growth of analytics a match was lost because the NRR possibilities weren't communicated to the players. Since the #MIvsRR game in 2014, the possibility that you could use more deliveries if you finished with a boundary has been known. The numbers person is now mandatory and part of the tactical acumen of a team.”
Notably, in a game between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians in the 2014 edition of the cash-rich league, a similar incident happened when Mumbai Indians needed to chase down 190 runs in 14.3 overs .
Coming back to the Tuesday match, the Afghanistan team was heavily criticised due to a blunder in understanding the qualification scenario for Super Fours. While it wasn’t only a must-win game for Afghanistan, they needed to meet a complex qualification scenario. Hashmathullah Shahidi’s side needed to chase a 292-run target in 37.1 overs or get to 295 runs in 37.5 overs.
However, in what changed the team’s fortune in the continental tournament, it turned out that they weren’t aware of the qualification scenario. They bundled out on 289 and missed the qualification mark by merely 3 runs.