New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bowl in a World Cup match against South Africa in Birmingham on Wednesday.
The match, delayed by a wet outfield for 90 minutes, was reduced to 49 overs per side and was due to start at 12:00 pm local time (15:00 GST).
“We are going to have a bowl, potentially a bit of weather and we will try and make in-roads with the ball,” said Williamson, whose side were unchanged.
“We have come off an extended break so it’s nice to be able to play the same side.”
South Africa, who brought in paceman Lungi Ngidi for Beuran Hendricks, must win the game if they are to stand a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals after finally recording their first victory of the tournament, against Afghanistan.
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Eoin Morgan never envisaged breaking the record for most sixes in a one-day international innings in a sizzling 148 from 71 balls that ushered England to World Cup victory over Afghanistan.
The England captain’s 17 maximums overhauled the previous benchmark of 16, jointly held by Chris Gayle, Rohit Sharma and AB De Villiers, while his 57-ball ton is the fourth quickest in the World Cup’s 44-year history.
Dropped on 28, Morgan spirited England to 397 for six – which included 25 sixes, another all-time high – and they went to the top of the standings after restricting Afghanistan to 247 for eight.
But after hogging the headlines in a 150-run victory, Morgan revealed he took even himself by surprise and was elated to prove he could compete with the likes of Jos Buttler and the best of his side’s big-hitters.
On setting a new benchmark for the most maximums in an ODI innings, he said: “I honestly don’t know, it’s weird, very strange. It’s something, along with the innings, that I never thought I’d do.
“Never have I ever thought I could play a knock like that. I’m delighted that I have. All the work over the last four years, over the course of my career, it all comes to the front now.
“The last four years I’ve probably played the best in my career. But that hasn’t involved the 50- or 60-ball hundred.
“I’ve scored one at Middlesex, so I thought I would have it in the locker somewhere but it’s never happened. So I sort of gave up on it a little bit.
“Coming at a time when it was a 50-50 shout whether myself or Jos went in probably helped that because after I’d faced a few balls I had no choice. I had to start taking risks because of him coming in next.
“I think I’m probably just becoming a target for guys in the changing room to take down. The hundred I scored is considered a slow one in our changing room, guys talk about it all the time. Tough school!”
Morgan’s efforts come just days after he limped off in the win over the West Indies with a back spasm, and there were question marks he would even take to the field at Old Trafford right up until Tuesday morning’s toss.
Any lingering fears were subsequently allayed following a knock that relegated hefty contributions from Jonny Bairstow (90) and Joe Root (88) to footnotes.
He added: “The back feels good. I’m absolutely delighted with the way it’s come through like that, particularly with the fielding. Those were the bigger worries, turning and diving and all sorts.
“(Tuesday) morning went pretty smoothly. Early start, getting my back hot and all the muscles moving. I didn’t have any injections, I just had medication tablets for the game. It was good.
“I got to the ground early, had a little bit of a fitness test, little bit of a bat and I was just good to go. (But) it took a bit of time before I could get confidence in moving.”
Asked whether being top of the table is a boost for England ahead of Friday’s clash against Sri Lanka at Headingley, Morgan added: “I think it is.
“If we can produce the level of intensity in which we operated (against Afghanistan), it will leave us in a really good place.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Afghanistan’s Hashmatullah Shahidi has revealed concern for his mother persuaded him to go against medical advice after being hit in the helmet by a 92mph bouncer from England‘s Mark Wood.
The 24-year-old batsman was floored after turning his back on a brutish delivery from the paceman.
It looked certain that he would be forced to retire hurt but he was on his feet surprisingly quickly. Hashmatullah said those who attended him in the middle instructed him to leave the field but he opted to stay in place, adding another 52 runs after the incident to top score with 76.
Runs on the board are unlikely to persuade those who feel cricket can be too lax in its approach to concussion and head injuries, but there was no denying the emotional weight of Hashmatullah’s explanation.
“I got up early because of my mum,” he said.
“One of the reasons I got up so quickly is because my mum is always thinking of me. I lost my father last year so I didn’t want her to hurt. My whole family was watching, even my big brother was here in the ground watching. I didn’t want them to be worried for me.”
Those are admirable sentiments from a plucky cricketer, but the remainder of his account offered reason for concern.
“The ICC doctors came to me, and our physios, and my helmet was broken in the middle,” he recalled.
“They just told me just, ‘let’s go’. I told them I can’t leave my team-mate at that moment. My team needed me, I carried on.
“After the match I went to the ICC doctor and talked to them. They took care of me and said it will be fine, inshallah.”
A team official, Naveed Sayeh, confirmed Hashmatullah had acted against advice in continuing his innings.
He said: “The doctors told him, ‘please come off’ and to leave the ground. He told them, ‘no, I’m now OK so I’ll continue my batting’.”
Hashim Amla returned to the crease in the tournament’s opening fixture after being hit on the helmet by England’s Jofra Archer only to be subsequently ruled out of the following fixture with concussion.
Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib earlier pleaded ignorance when asked about a reported incident at a Manchester restaurant the night before the game.
A confrontation is alleged to have taken place with a member of the public at a curry house, but had no information to offer.
“No, I haven’t, so you can ask my security officer. I didn’t know anything about him, about them,” he said.
“It’s not a big issue for the team, for me.”
A statement released by Greater Manchester Police read: “Shortly after 11.15pm on Monday 17 June 2019, police were called to reports of an altercation at a premises on Liverpool Road in Manchester.
“Officers attended the scene. No one was injured and no arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.”