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ICC World Cup 2019: Match 24, England vs Afghanistan, Review – Morgan-tsunami drowns the helpless Afghans

Rashid Khan registered the worst figures in World Cup history by a bowler and the worst by a spinner in ODIs.

Jofra Archer of England
Jofra Archer of England. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Carnage of the highest order from skipper Eoin Morgan’s willow saw hosts England absolutely decimate Afghanistan at the Old Trafford, Manchester. A lot of records were smashed as hard as the ball was getting hammered by the English captain, who registered his first century of the tournament and perhaps one of the most memorable knocks in his career.

England won the toss earlier and Morgan, who was uncertain for this game, decided to have a bat. Mujeeb Ur Rahman went after the openers and almost reaped a reward for it, but James Vince somehow survived the challenge initially. But he soon fell for a quickfire 26, but Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root made things only more miserable.

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The duo cautiously dealt with the initial threats before launching a brilliant attack. Jonny Bairstow completed his half-century and was racing towards a hundred, but Gulbadin Naib stopped him on 90. Bairstow and Root added 120 runs for the second wicket. That was the last time the Afghans had a genuine smile on their faces as what followed later was a cyclone which blew all their morale away.

Morgan’s song of apocalypse

Eoin Morgan relentlessly kept smashing the big ones and targetted Rashid Khan in particular. It was all whack, whack and whack to all parts, who first completed his fifty in the 38th over and in absolutely no time, he reached three figures in just 57 balls. Joe Root silently scored another fifty in the background, but he was mostly enjoying the power-hitting from the best seat possible.

It was the cleanest possible swing one could witness from anyone’s willow. Clearing the front leg and hitting the ball through its line sounds very easy but it’s not an easy art to master and on the day, Morgan absolutely nailed it like Picasso.

Rashid registered the worst figures in World Cup history by a bowler and the worst by a spinner in ODIs as Eoin Morgan smashed his way to a 71-ball 148. He hit 17 sixes on his way, which saw him overtake Chris Gayle, Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers’ record of 16 sixes in an innings. Root very nearly came to scoring his third hundred of the tournament but had to settle for an 88.

Also read- Stats: Rashid Khan bowls the most expensive World Cup spell of all time

With some exploits from Moeen Ali in the end, England registered 397 runs for the loss of six wickets. Gulbadin Naib and Dawlat Zadran picked up three wickets each but they clearly were distraught with the level of humiliation that occurred on the field.

A decent fight back but not at all good enough

That was Afghanistan’s performance with the bat, in a nutshell, a lot of them probably would’ve complimented the Asian side for showing great character if they had done it while batting first. But they kept scoring at less than five an over till the 40th over, which determines how much quality they lack when it comes to making the scoreboard run.

Noor Ali Zadran was dismissed for a duck and although Gulbadin Naib showed positive intent, his exploits couldn’t go beyond the powerplay as Mark Wood dismissed him. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi stitched a partnership at this juncture which clearly had just one intention – damage control! Shahidi and Asghar Afghan had a brilliant partnership going, but despite them stitching 94 runs for the fourth wicket, they remained far away from their destination.

Afghan scored 44 runs off 48 balls which includes three big sixes. Mohammad Nabi came in after his dismissal and tried to reduce the margin of defeat, but even that was very tough. Hashmatullah’s decent effort of 76 in 100 deliveries got their side close to a respectable total in the end, but the biggest talking points of the day for the good reasons was Morgan and for the bad ones was Rashid.

Brief Scores

England: 397/6 in 50 overs (Eoin Morgan 148, Jonny Bairstow 90, Joe Root 88; Gulbadin Naib 3/68)

Afghanistan: 247/8 in 50 overs (Hashmatullah Shahidi 76, Rahmat Shah 46, Asghar Afghan 44; Mark Wood 2/40)

Result: England won by 150 runs

Man of the match: Eoin Morgan

Here is the Points Table:

Points-Table.ai-WC-2019

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