It was a record-breaking day for hosts England and skipper Eoin Morgan in their 2019 ICC World Cup clash against Afghanistan as sixes rained down by the bucket load at Old Trafford.
The hosts and tournament favourites made hay on an excellent batting track in Manchester after Morgan won the toss and elected to bat first. Led by a record ton from Morgan and fine half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, England piled up a mammoth total of 397-6 in their 50 overs.
Records fell by the wayside as England’s stars put on a batting exhibition at Old Trafford with Afghanistan’s bowlers finding no hiding room.
CAPTAIN MORGAN’S BLISTERING TON
There was a cloud hanging over Morgan’s availability for the Afghanistan clash with the England skipper suffering from a sore back. He only made the playing XI after passing a late fitness test and how Afghanistan will be wishing he hadn’t.
The southpaw arrived at the crease at the end of the 30th over with England batting at 164-2 and by the time he was dismissed 17 overs later, the total had reached 359. In between those 17 overs, Morgan struck a record 17 sixes which is the highest by any batsman in a single ODI innings.
The England skipper’s ton came off only 57 deliveries and he was looking in the mood for much more before his 148-run (71) blitz was ended by Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib.
Morgan had arrived at the crease with Root nearing his half-century but the right-hander was content to take a back seat as his skipper rained carnage on the hapless Afghan bowlers.
The 148 runs scored by Morgan is his personal best in ODIs and his monstrous hitting ability helped England break the record for most sixes in an innings.
The previous ODI record for a single innings had been 24 with England slamming 25 of them on Monday in Manchester. 397-6 is also now the highest total achieved by England in a World Cup.
Eoin Morgan becomes the first international cricketer to smash 100+ runs with sixes...— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) June 18, 2019
RASHID’S HORROR DAY WITH THE BALL
The bowler who bore the biggest brunt of Morgan’s belligerent attacking was Rashid Khan with the star leg-spinner taking the hammering of a lifetime.
The No1 ranked T20 bowler in the world was made to look pretty ordinary by Morgan and the English batsmen with his nine overs going for a whopping 110 runs.
It is the most expensive spell by any bowler in World Cup history and the joint second-worst in all ODIs. In his nine overs, Rashid was tonked for as many as 11 sixes which is another ODI record.
Before coming into the clash, the leg-spinner had an economy-rate of just 3.95 in ODIs but all that mattered little for Morgan and England who treated him with complete disdain.
Very rarely is the Afghan star man dominated by opposition batsmen to such an extent, but there was little he could do to stop the carnage on Monday.
The 20-year-old has already created several records in his brief career so far but he has now added another, unwanted, one to his name.
Rashid Khan is first spinner in Men's ODI history to concede 100plus runs in an innings. #EngvAFG— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) June 18, 2019
Rashid Khan's worst day:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) June 18, 2019
- conceded the most sixes by a bowler in an ODI (11)
- first spinner to concede 100+ runs in an ODI
- most runs conceded in a WC game
- 7 sixes to Morgan, most by a batsman v a bowler in an ODI#EngvAfg #CWC19
Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim believes his side can still make the semi-final of the 2019 ICC World Cup should the results of some other games go that way.
The Men in Green find their semi-final hopes hanging by a thread following their comprehensive 89-run loss to arch-rivals India at Manchester on Sunday.
That loss against Virat Kohli and his men has seen Pakistan slide down to ninth spot in the 10-team table with just three points in their bag after a total of five games. Their negative run-rate has only compounded matters for Pakistan and they must now win all four of their remaining clashes to stand any chance of sneaking into the top four.
“This (India loss) was a really, really disappointing result for us,” Imad was quoted as saying by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“When we came back on after the rain, there was very little we could do, but we know we have four matches left and if we win those, we still have a chance.
“Results of the other countries may come into play. From our point of view, we can only do what we can. What is in our hands is to try to win all four games and take it from there.”
Pakistan’s four remaining clashes are against South Africa, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Afghanistan. They will next take on South Africa at the Lord’s Cricket Ground at London on June 23.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has promised to remind his players of the ‘cornered tigers’ spirit which former skipper Imran Khan had instilled in his 1992 World Cup winning team.
Pakistan’s hopes of making the semi-final of the 2019 ICC World Cup took a huge beating on Sunday when they were handed an 89-run thrashing by arch-rivals India at Manchester.
With the defeat to India, the Men in Green now find themselves with just three points to show from five games and are only above Afghanistan in the 10-team table.
After five matches played, Sarfraz Ahmed and his men find themselves in exactly the same position that the 1992 World Cup winning team of Imran Khan found themselves in before going on to capture the trophy.
Imran Khan, who is now the Prime Minister of the country, had famously used the ‘cornered tigers’ slogan to rally his troops after their disastrous start to the campaign before they went on a dream run to beat England in the final.
Arthur is now hoping to use the same spirit to inspire the current Pakistan team in England.
“It is disappointing to be in such a position,” the Pakistan coach told AFP.
“We can’t change the past but can influence the future and I will definitely remind my players of the spirit of ‘cornered tigers’.
“I love this team. I love Pakistan so I will definitely use all my experience to inspire this team.”
Pakistan will now turn their attention to the upcoming clash against South Africa which is slated to take place on June 23 at the Lord’s cricket ground in London.