Eoin Morgan blasted 17 sixes against Afghanistan, which is most by any player in ODI cricket (Image Credit: Twitter)
New Delhi :
Eoin Morgan's 148 off 71 deliveries at Old Trafford in Manchester turned out to be too much for Afghanistan team as they looked all over the place against the number one ranked side in the World. England started off the game with a decent partnership up front, with James Vince and Jonny Bairstow being able to hammer the ball all around the ground. Once the former departed, Bairstow took the charge and scored yet another half-century in the tournament. The collective effort from the team helped England to post a mammoth total on the board. In response, Afghanistan played their heart out but fell short by a huge margin of 150 runs.
Before the start of the game, if there were any doubts that the English skipper, Eoin Morgan may not be fully fit for the game against Afghanistan, he gave the most emphatic answer as he smashed the fourth fastest World Cup century - off just 57 balls to give his side a total of 397/6 against a hapless Afghanistan side on Tuesday.
England had been provided a solid start thanks to James Vince and Jonny Bairstow. Vince had replaced the injured Jason Roy for this game, and although not as destructive, he strung together well with Bairstow to take England to 44 before falling to Dawlat Zadran. Root and Bairstow started off cautiously but slowly grew more confident as they spent more time in the middle to register a hundred-plus run partnership.
Afghanistan's spinners struggled to get any control over the batsmen, with their premier spinners - Rashid and Nabi - failing to put a lid on the scoring. England's middle-order showed their class and eventually helped the side to be in a very strong position. Moeen Ali provided some more power hitting late into the innings, with 31 off 9 balls as England narrowly missed out on 400.
In response, Afghanistan lost Noor Ali Zadran for a duck with England's lethal speedster Jofra Archer providing the first blood. Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah strung a 48-run partnership, with Gulbandin Naib being the aggressor. However, just when the duo was starting to look good, Mark Wood, who produced the fastest delivery of World Cup 2019, sent the opener back into the hut. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi ticked ones and twos and a boundary on a few occasions to let the Afghanistan scoreboard ticking, but chasing a big target, the team required some aerial shots which team lacked by some margin.
Once Shah departed, Asghar Afghan and Hashmatullah Shahidi registered the highest ever partnership for Afghanistan in World Cups. However, the required run rate went over 10, and pressure started to loom over both the batsmen. Eventually, the wickets started to tumble, and the Afghanistan team never recovered and suffered an embarrassing loss.