Cricket fans witnessed an absolute thriller at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore during the Asia Cup 2023 clash between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. The Islanders emerged victorious in this nail-biting encounter, securing a coveted place in the Super 4 stage of the tournament. However, what makes this match truly unforgettable is the shocking revelation made by Afghanistan’s head coach, Jonathan Trott, regarding the calculations that eluded the Afghan side.

In a must-win game for Afghanistan, they needed to chase down a daunting target of 292 runs in just 37.1 overs to qualify for the Super 4 stage. Their pursuit began on a promising note, with Mohammad Nabi delivering a sensational performance, smashing 65 runs off just 32 balls and keeping Afghanistan in the hunt.

The equation was brought down to a thrilling 15 runs off 7 balls after the dismissal of Nabi. The tension in the stadium was palpable as Afghanistan approached the target. After the completion of the 37th over, they reached a tantalizing score of 289/8, needing only three runs off the last delivery to secure their Super 4 berth.

Also READ: Twitter reactions – Afghanistan miss Super 4 qualification by a whisker as Sri Lanka hold nerve in a thrilling clash – Asia Cup 2023

Afghanistan Missed out on Calculation

However, in a dramatic turn of events, Afghanistan lost their ninth wicket on the first ball of the 38th over when Mujeeb Ur Rahman attempted to hit a boundary. Rashid Khan, who was at the non-striker’s end, collapsed to his knees in despair. Little did he, or any of the players, know that Afghanistan had until 38.1 overs to reach the target, provided they reached 297.

This meant that Afghanistan could have advanced to the Super 4 stage if they had achieved certain run-rate milestones: 293 after 37.2 overs, 294 after 37.3, 295 after 37.5, 296 after 38 overs, or 297 after 38.1. These targets were achievable if their number 11 batsman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, had managed to score a four off the second ball of the 38th over, a six off the third, fourth, or fifth ball, or even taken a single to give Rashid, who was batting on 27 off 16 balls, a chance to finish the game.

As fate would have it, Farooqi blocked two deliveries from de Silva, including a full-toss, before being adjudged lbw while attempting to defend.

“We Were Never Communicated Those Calculations”: Claimed Trott

The revelation of missed opportunities came to light during the post-match press conference, where an understandably disheartened Trott revealed that the match officials had not informed his team of the finer Net Run Rate (NRR) permutations.

Also READ: Asia Cup 2023 – Netizens mercilessly trolls Fazhalhaq Farooqi after Afghanistan’s dramatic loss to Sri Lanka | AFG vs SL

“We were never communicated those calculations. All we were communicated was we needed to win in 37.1 overs. We weren’t told what the overs in which we could get 295 or 297. [That we could win in] 38.1 overs was never communicated to us,” lamented Trott.

The Asia Cup 2023 encounter between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will undoubtedly go down in cricketing history as a match that was not only thrilling but also a tale of missed opportunities and the importance of understanding complex net run rate scenarios.

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