October 19, 2019
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    Morgan’s astonishing batting deflates Afghanistan

    June 19, 2019

    MANCHESTER: England captain Eoin Morgan hit an astonishing career best innings of 148 off 71 balls and set up a new world record for the most number of sixes hit by any batsman in ODI cricket as they crushed hapless Afghanistan by 150 runs to win their World Cup match played here at Old Trafford and go on top of the table displacing Australia.

    Choosing to bat first after winning the toss England posted an imposing total of 397 for six wickets their highest score in a World Cup match and then kept Afghanistan down to 247-8 to register a comfortable win. With Afghanistan also hitting a total of eight sixes in their innings the match produced a record number of sixes in a World Cup match of 33.

    The Afghanistan bowling was taken apart by Morgan who slammed a world record 17 sixes and in the process set up another world record for the most sixes by any team in an ODI when England ended up hitting 25, beating their own previous record by one.The previous record of 16 sixes hit by a batsman was held jointly by Chris Gayle, Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers.

    Morgan scored a 100 runs (102) only in sixes in a display of power hitting which the Afghan bowlers had no answers. It was a case of massacre of the innocents although Afghanistan cannot be classed as ‘innocents’ because once you get on the big stage all teams are equal and the way they have been performing in the past year or so puts them in that category.

    Morgan was brutal on Afghanistan’s star spinner Rashid Khan who went for 110 runs in his nine overs that included 11 sixes equalling Pakistani Wahab Riaz’s record of 110 in 10 overs. However Rashid’s figures were the worst by a bowler in a World Cup surpassing West Indies captain Jason Holder’s 104 in ten overs against South Africa at Sydney in 2015 and 105 by New Zealand’s Martin Snedden off 12 overs against England at the Oval in 1983.

    Morgan who was later named Man of the Match made Afghanistan pay dearly for dropping him at 28 when Dawlat dropped him at midwicket off a slog sweep off Rashid, for he made 120 off his next 45 balls. He made the quickest century by an Englishman in an ODI off 57 balls and the fourth fastest in a World Cup.

    Before Morgan’s assault on the Afghan bowling, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root kept the England innings going at over five an over, with contributions of 90 and 88 respectively.Bairstow hit eight fours and three sixes in his 99-ball innings and Root five fours and one six off 82 balls.

    After England lost Jason Roy’s replacement James Vince for 26 in the tenth over, Bairstow and Root added 120 for the second wicket. A further stand of 189 which was England’s highest partnership in a World Cup followed between Root and Morgan that really put the Afghan bowling on the defensive.

    Following Root’s and Morgan’s dismissals in the 47th over Afghanistan bowlers had some relief as they picked up Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes for two apiece, as England suffered a mild slump losing four wickets for 25 runs off 15 balls before Moin Ali finished the innings off in style with a cameo innings of 31 not out off 9 balls that included four sixes so that England ended up scoring a astonishing 142 runs off the last 10 overs.

     

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