Hosts England climbed to the top of the 2019 ICC World Cup standings with a record-breaking 150-run win over Afghanistan at Manchester.
Led by a blistering 148 off just 71 balls from skipper Eoin Morgan, the tournament favourites racked up a mammoth 397-6 in their 50 overs before they restricted the Afghans to 247-8.
Batting first, England racked up their highest-ever World Cup total of 397-6 with Morgan’s explosive ton backed up by excellent half-centuries from Joe Root (88) and Jonny Bairstow (90).
With Jason Roy injured, James Vince opened the innings alongside Bairstow and the pair added 44 runs before he was dismissed by Dawlat Zadran. That was as good as it got for Afghanistan with Bairstow and Root then putting on a 120-run stand. Bairstow was in fluent form and looked set for a century before his 90-run knock was ended by Gulbadin Naib.
That dismissal brought Morgan to the crease and the southpaw went on an incredible assault as Root took a backseat. Morgan dealt primarily in sixes and struck a record 17 of them in a 71-ball stay that yielded a staggering 148 runs.
His ton came off just 57 balls and seven of his 17 sixes came against Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan who had a day to forget. The Afghan star was taken for 110 runs from just nine overs in what are now the most expensive bowling figures in World Cup history.
Morgan’s blitz saw England collect as many as 142 runs from the final 10 overs at Manchester with Root chipping in with a solid 88. Moeen Ali rubbed salt into the wounds of Afghanistan’s bowlers with an unbeaten cameo of 31 runs which came off just nine deliveries.
In response, Afghanistan were never really in the game as they chased down the mammoth target with opener Noor Ali Zadran being bowled for a duck by Jofra Archer. They did manage to bat out their quota of 50 overs for the first time in the tournament led by a gritty 76 from Hashmatullah Shahidi and valuable contributions from Rahmat Shah (46) and Asghar Afghan (44).
Afghans show some character with the bat
Afghanistan had been abysmal at the crease in their previous four losses in the tournament but they finally showed some application in that department against England. The chase was always going to be beyond Afghanistan’s means before it even started and they adopted the right approach by treating it as an opportunity to play a full innings.
The pitch was a belter for batting but Afghanistan’s batsmen need to be given credit for holding their own against the likes of Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes. For once, their middle order did not collapse like a house of cards with Shahidi, Asghar Afghan and Rahmat in particular showing tremendous grit and application at the crease.
Shahidi was the best of the lot with a 76-run knock that helped the minnows register their highest total in the 2019 World Cup so far. The time spent by Afghanistan’s batsmen in the middle against a formidable England attack should hold them in good stead for their remaining four games.
There were several England batsmen who enjoyed themselves in the middle but none more so than skipper Eoin Morgan. The left-hander had passed a late fitness test for the match after suffering from a stiff back but he hardly showed any signs of discomfort as he dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground.
He was on the attack from the very first ball and gave Afghanistan’s bowlers no respite in an astonishing assault that saw him slam a record 17 sixes. He was particularly in punishing mood against Afghanistan’s star bowler Rashid Khan who he struck for as many as seven sixes.
In just a 17-over stay at the crease, Morgan helped England more than double their total from 164 to 359 before his 148-run blitz was brought to an end by Gulbadin Naib. It was the most effortless hitting from the England skipper and it was the reason his side posted a total of nearly 400.
His ton was the fastest by an Englishman in World Cups and fourth quickest overall in the competition’s history.
Morgan and England break sixes record
The 25 sixes struck by England’s batsmen on Monday is now the most registered in a single innings by any side in ODI history. The previous best had been 24 sixes.
The 17 sixes slammed by Morgan is also the highest by any batsman in an ODI innings and breaks the previous record of 16 held jointly by Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers.
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.