Eoin Morgan’s record-breaking hits in the 24th match of ICC World Cup 2019 led the England squad to conquer the match against least-ranked Afghanistan at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
After winning the toss for his team Morgan decided to bat first and his smart decision against Afghans proved right for the hosts as England posted the highest score of 397 runs in this grand cricket Cup so far. Morgan’s troop played exceptionally-well in their fifth match of the season and flattened Gulbadin Naib’s team with the monumental margin of 150 runs. This win gave the hosting team an astonishing jump to the top position in points table.
England started their remarkable innings with explosive openers, James Vince and Jonny Bairstow after which brilliant wicket-keeper batsman Bairstow established a strong base for England. The 29-year-old experienced cricketer knocked a total of 90 runs off 99 balls with a great spell of eight boundaries and three sixes. This was followed by young game changer Joe Root who bagged as many as 88 runs for his side in 82 deliveries. After Root’s dismissal by Afghanistan’s skipper Gulbadin Naib, it was then the turn of star of the show Eoin Morgan who smashed 17 jaw-dropping sixes in his wondrous knock of 148 runs off just 71 balls. These great batting efforts of England squad helped them to set a humongous total of 397 runs against hapless Afghanistan.
While chasing such a massive target in the game Afghanistan’s cricketers played quite well to some extent in the second innings but attacking bowling spells by England’s pacers crashed their hopes of winning the game. None of the Afghanistan cricketers could reach substantial scores except Hashmatullah Shahidi who somehow managed to score 76 off 100 deliveries with five boundaries and two sixes. Hashmatullah and Asghar Afghan shared a 94-run partnership in the match before Afghan lost his wicket to Adil Rashid in the 40th over. Despite putting their best efforts in the game Afghanistan managed to score just 247 runs for eight wickets in total 50 overs.
In this nail-biting World Cup clash, all eyes were stuck on Morgan who broke the record of India’s superstar opener and vice-captain Rohit Sharma who hit 16 sixes in a One Day International match (ODI) and also surpassed South Africa’s millennium A.B. de Villiers and the West Indies’ superstar Chris Gayle. The left-handed batsman also marked the record of fastest hundred ever in a World Cup match after his extraordinary performance in the match against Afghanistan.
The top-rankers will next take on Sri Lankan squad on June 21st at Headingley Cricket Ground while ill-fated Afghanistan will test their fortunes against Indian tigers on June 22nd at Rose Bowl Cricket Ground.
England: 397/6 in 50 overs, Eoin Morgan (148), and Jonny Bairstow (90), Joe Root (88) Jofra Archer (3/52), and Adil Rashid (3/66)
Afghanistan: 247/8 in 50 overs, Hashmatullah Shahidi (76), Rahmat Shah (46), Asghar Afghan (44), Gulbadin Naib (3/68), and Dawlat Zadran (3/85)