That's not the pitch you want to have a World Cup semifinal on: Afghan coach Trott

The pitch, which offered lateral seam movement and inconsistent bounce, was a nightmare for batters as Afghanistan were bowled out for 56.
Afghanistan's Naveen-ul-Haq an teammate Fazalhaq Farooqi walk from the field after they were dismissed for 56 runs during the men's T20 World Cup semifinal cricket match between Afghanistan and South Africa
Afghanistan's Naveen-ul-Haq an teammate Fazalhaq Farooqi walk from the field after they were dismissed for 56 runs during the men's T20 World Cup semifinal cricket match between Afghanistan and South Africa(Photo | PTI)

TAROUBA: Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott has lambasted the pitch that was used for their T20 World Cup semifinal against South Africa here, asserting that it was unfit for a contest of such magnitude.

The pitch, which offered lateral seam movement and inconsistent bounce, was a nightmare for batters as Afghanistan were bowled out for 56 - the lowest score in a T20 World Cup semifinal at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy stadium here.

Even though South Africa chased down the target in 8.5 overs, their batters too struggled.

"I don't want to get myself into trouble and I don't want to come across as bitter or it being a case of sour grapes but that's not the pitch that you want to have a match, a semi-final of a World Cup on, plain and simple," Trott said at the post-match press conference.

The former England batter said the pitch took batting completely out of the game.

"It should be a fair contest. I'm not saying it should be flat completely with no spin and no seam movement, I'm saying you shouldn't have batsmen worrying about going forward," he explained.

"They should be confident in foot movement and be able to hit through the line or use their skills. T20 is about attacking and about scoring runs and taking wickets, not looking to survive."

Throughout the tournament, the venue offered swing and seam to pacers and turn to the spinners.

Tarouba hosted five World Cup games and only once did a team batting first cross the 100-run mark.

It was done by the West Indies with a 149/6 against New Zealand which was successfully defended by the co-hosts.

"If the opposition bowled well and got to a position where they bowled very, very well and it's through skill, then that's fine and then it's about adapting to that," he said.

"But once the ball starts misbehaving and rolling, if we had bowled as straight as South Africa had, I think you would have seen a very interesting second half as well," he added.

Afghanistan's Naveen-ul-Haq an teammate Fazalhaq Farooqi walk from the field after they were dismissed for 56 runs during the men's T20 World Cup semifinal cricket match between Afghanistan and South Africa
Happy we're not playing on this pitch again, but nice feeling to be in final: Markram

Afghan Players were tired but that's no excuse

Afghanistan had an emotionally charged and hectic 40 hours before their first-ever semifinal appearance at a World Cup.

They clinched a thrilling rain-hit eight-run win over Bangladesh in a must-win game that went in to the wee hours of Tuesday in Kingstown.

There flight to Tarouba was then delayed by four hours.

Even at the toss, skipper Rashid Khan mentioned that his team hadn't slept much.

"We only got back to hotel at three o'clock and then we had to leave at eight o'clock -- five hours later so we didn't get much sleep so the guys obviously were very tired and a lot to process really emotionally physically. So all new territory for the guys," Trott said.

Having said that, Trott conceded they were outplayed by a strong South African unit.

"But we knew the schedule, so that's not an excuse as such. When you go in World Cups or tournaments, you can't have everything your own way, and you've got to fight and play against the odds which you've done at times and very proud of that. But it's no, it's not the reason why we didn't win today."

"South Africa bowled well, used the conditions, and showed our boys what it's capable of. But it just didn't go our way tonight."

The 43-year-old hoped that the semifinal loss serves as a learning for the team that has improved leaps and bounds in the last five years.

"...we've obviously got one better than the previous (ODI) World Cup in November and it's just about taking it step by step and hopefully we learn from today, the batters certainly.

"What it takes to play international cricket and play against a bowling side like South Africa on a pitch that's perhaps not conducive to high scoring runs and finding ways of winning games...we just couldn't find a way today."

Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (0) and Ibrahim Zadran (2), who were Afghanistan's top run-getters in the tournament, both failed, putting pressure on the middle order that hadn't fired at all in the tournament.

"Nobody else has got runs. We need to find a reason for that," Trott said.

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