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Did 4-hour flight delay and sleep deprivation play a role in Afghanistan’s T20 WC semis defeat vs SA?

Did 4-hour flight delay and sleep deprivation play a role in Afghanistan’s T20 WC semis defeat vs SA?

While the exact impact of the travel delays on Afghanistan's performance is difficult to determine, it's undeniable that they faced a challenging situation.

South Africa cruised to a dominant victory over Afghanistan in the first ICC T20 World Cup semi-final, securing their place in the final for the first time ever. However, questions have been raised about whether Afghanistan’s travel woes might have contributed to their disappointing performance.

Flight delay for Afghanistan

Following their victory over Bangladesh in the Super 8 stage, Afghanistan had to travel from St. Vincent to Trinidad for the T20 World Cup semi-final.

This journey was reportedly plagued by a four-hour flight delay, leaving them with minimal time to practice and adjust to the new conditions in Trinidad. In contrast, South Africa had an extra day of rest and preparation after their last match.

Social media blames travel issues

Many fans on social media expressed their concerns that the travel complications might have hampered Afghanistan’s performance. Some argued that the scheduling was unfair, favoring India by placing the semi-final closer to their location.

Official response by Rashid Khan

Despite the travel disruptions, Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan maintained that the team was prepared for the match. They opted to bat first, aiming to set a strong total on a fresh wicket. However, Khan acknowledged concerns about his middle order batsmen, who hadn’t received much playing time recently.

South Africa dominate with bowling masterclass

Ultimately, Afghanistan’s batting struggles were overshadowed by a phenomenal bowling display from South Africa. The Proteas’ pace attack, led by Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje, dismantled the Afghan batting lineup, restricting them to a mere 56 runs – the lowest total ever recorded in a T20 World Cup semi-final. This dominant bowling performance left Afghanistan with little chance of victory.

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Did jet lag tip scales?

While the exact impact of the travel delays on Afghanistan’s performance is difficult to determine, it’s undeniable that they faced a challenging situation. The short turnaround time and lack of practice in Trinidad could have contributed to fatigue and hindered their ability to adapt to the new environment.

Focus shifts to T20 WC Final

South Africa, on the other hand, will be brimming with confidence heading into the final. They will be eager to capitalize on their dominant form and secure their first T20 World Cup title. While Afghanistan’s journey ends on a disappointing note, questions remain about the fairness of the scheduling and the potential impact of travel fatigue on major sporting events.

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