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ICC World Cup 2019: Warm-up Match 8, England vs Afghanistan, Review – Hosts hammer home to a thumping win

England overhauled the below-par target inside 18 overs with 9 wickets in hand.

Joe Root of England
Joe Root of England. (Photo Source: Twitter)

One has to believe this is the best time to be an England cricket fan considering how amazing a side they have built in recent times. The Brits have been thoroughly sensational in the last few seasons and they are continuing to mesmerize everyone. With an astounding win against the highly-spirited Afghanistan, they are heading into the tournament with outstanding confidence.

Afghanistan got off to a poor start batting first, with most of their batsmen failing to negotiate the fast bowling threat. The English bowlers kept mixing their lengths precisely and the Afghan batsmen remained on the back foot expecting short deliveries every now and then. As a result, they lost three wickets before getting to the fifty-run mark.

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After Jofra Archer did the early damage, it was an unexpected bowling source in the middle overs that kept the Afghans on hold. Joe Root with his off-breaks proved to be sensational on the day, registering three wickets. Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid too bowled brilliantly from the other end to restrict them to 92/8 inside 25 overs.

There was no venom in Afghanistan’s batting innings and eventually, they suffered badly. Yet, just when the chips were falling down, Mohammad Nabi proved to be a ray of hope. He scored some very important runs and stitched a good partnership with Dawlat Zadran for the final wicket.

After compiling a 42-ball 44, Nabi was caught at third man trying to slash hard against Jofra Archer, and with that, Afghanistan were bowled out for 169 runs in 38.4 overs. Archer and Root shared three wickets each for the hosts.

As easy as it gets for the English

Some experts expected the Afghan bowlers to showcase a spirited bowling performance despite their batting failure. That wasn’t to be the case as Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow got off to a blazing start, just the way they have done on numerous occasions in the last few months.

Afghanistan’s new ball bowlers, who bowled so well against Pakistan, kept hitting the arc and lost confidence a little too early. England’s scoring rate after 7 overs was above 10, which highlights the magnitude of their striking. While Jonny Bairstow got dismissed for a 22-ball 39, Jason Roy completed a half-century with Joe Root by his side and kept the scorecard sprinting.

Roy finished the game off in style for the hosts and was unbeaten on 89 from 46 balls. Root also hung in there as they chased the below-par target inside 18 overs, giving the team a much-needed boost after their defeat to Australia in the first match. All eyes will be on the Kia Oval on Thursday when England combat South Africa to kick-start cricket’s most elite tournament.

Brief Scores

Afghanistan: 160 all out in 38.4 overs (Mohammad Nabi 44; Jofra Archer 3/32, Joe Root 3/22)

England: 161/1 in 17.3 overs (Jason Roy – 89*; Mohammad Nabi 1/34

Result: England won by 9 wickets

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