Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott said they could have given New Zealand a run for their money in Wednesday’s World Cup game if they had not dropped several catches.
Afghanistan were punished for their sloppy fielding after flooring four catches and also missed a stumping opportunity as New Zealand maintained their perfect record with a 149-run win.
The result left Afghanistan ninth in the standings, just days after a stunning upset over England had fuelled their hopes of climbing up the table.
“It’s not the pressure, I think it’s been happening a bit too much recently as well since I’ve been in charge,” Trott told reporters.
“If you look at the statistics, unfortunately the side is right at the bottom with regards to catching. So that needs to improve and it’s something we’ve worked really hard on in training, we just need to do it in games now.”
New Zealand’s Will Young was dropped in the second over and the opener went on to smash a fifty before Rachin Ravindra (32) was dropped on nought. But Afghanistan looked in control when the 2019 finalists were struggling at 110-4.
Tom Latham rescued his team with a knock of 68 but he was dropped twice before reaching his fifty as the skipper combined with Glenn Phillips (71) for a 144-run stand which helped them post 288-6.
“We dropped Ravindra on nought, we dropped Young on nought. So that sort of gives a little bit of momentum to the opposition,” Trott added.
“If we had taken those and with the wicket of (opener Devon) Conway, we would have been in a much better position had we held on to those catches. But it wasn’t to be and unfortunately, we have to go home regretting those.”
New Zealand play India next on Sunday while Afghanistan take on Pakistan a day later. – SuperSport.