England v Afghanistan at Old Trafford June 18th

ENGLAND moved to the top of the points table on net run rate with a 150 run victory over Afghanistan at Old Trafford.

The crowd were treated to a records fest as records tumbled.  It was England’s highest score in a World Cup match, their highest ODI score at Old Trafford, the most sixes in a World Cup match,  the most sixes in a ODI innings, the most expensive bowling figures in ODI innings Rashid Khan 0/110 in nine overs, England’s highest partnership in a World Cup match between Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, the most sixes conceded by a bowler in an ODI innings Rashid 11 and Afghanistan’s highest score in a World Cup match.

In England’s last match against the West Indies, skipper Morgan suffered a back spasm and couldn’t bat, was even a doubt for this match but who needs to run when you can hit sixes.  Morgan hit 17 sixes the most by an England player in a World Cup match.

He hit 148 and while he was at the crease England looked certain to break the 400 mark in  the World Cup. On 28 he was dropped and he made them pay. The chance wasn’t that hard, he pulled Rashid  over square leg and looked certain to be caught by Dawlet Zadran but he dropped it. Morgan clipped the next ball squarer for another six and finished the over with another six to bring up the fifty partnership with Root.

He said: “ I never thought in my wildest dreams did I think that I would produce an innings like that. I think that in the last four years that I have played the best cricket of my career but this is where it matters. When me and Root got together we thought that a score of 280 – 300 was par because the wicket was tacky.  After I got drop it was a matter of keep going.”

Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib said: “Our bowlers did well before the 30 over mak then they all got smashed.  If we hadn’t dropped Morgan I think that they would probably not have scored as many. We dropped one catch and we lost the game from there.  Full credit to Morgan for his batting, he showed a lot of class. I have never seen this kind of batting from him.

Rashid is one of the best spinners in our team, he is a star player and it can happen to anyone.  Sometimes you do well and I am happy with him it’s not a big deal.

We take a lot of positive from this match and we are improving each day in every department.”

Morgan came in at the fall of Jonny Bairstow’s wicket at 164 for two with 20 overs to bat.  He hit consecutive sixes off Naib, the first off a free hit over the square leg boundary and the second over long on.  

His fifth six brought up his fifty off 36 balls when he thumped Mohammad Nabi off his legs over cow corner. In the next over Morgan went down on one knee and smashed Mujeeb Rahman  over cow corner for another six.

He went down the wicket to Nabi for a straight six which the television gang try, he pulled the next ball for another six over the mid wicket boundary to bring up the hundred partnership with Root off 65 balls.

Morgan brought up his century with a six off Rashid over long on.  His century came off 57 balls and included 11 sixes. It was the fourth fastest fifty in World Cup history and the fastest by an England player

Root’s innings in comparison to Bairstow’s and Morgan’s seamed sedate but he kept the score moving and in both partnerships rotated the strike with Bairstow and Morgan.  After seeing Morgan reach his century and with just over three overs left, desperate to reach a century he went for a six off Gulbadin but flat batted it to Rahmet Shah at long on.

Root turned Mohammad Nabi off his legs for a single to bring up his fifty from 54 ball with two fours.  During his knock Root became the seventh England player to pass 500 runs in World Cup history. He nearly fell to Test captain’s Rahma’s first ball a leg break which just missed his off stump.

Nabi sprang a surprise by opening the bowling with off spinner Mujeeb who finished his 10 overs in the 42nd over as he rotated his bowlers making 21 bowling changes.  Bairstow drove Mujeeb to the extra cover boundary for the first boundary off the off spinner in his third over.

James Vince, in for the injured Jason Roy, pulled Dawlat but the ball hung in the air and Naib on the square leg boundary didn’t run into meet the ball if he had England would have lost their first wicket. Yet again Vince flattered to deceive in Dawlet’s next over he tried to guide a slower ball bouncer but the ball ballooned to Mujeeb at short fine leg.

Bairstow drove Gulbadin to the extra cover boundary to bring up his fifty from 61 balls with five fours and a six.  He picked a googly from Rashid and launched him over mid wicket for his second six. Bairstow brought up the hundred partnership with Root in 16 overs with a four of Rashid to the extra cover boundary.  Their fourth hundred partnership in ODI cricket.

He went down the wicket to Nabi and smashed for a flat battted six to bring up the England 150.  After three dot balls Bairstow played too soon at a slower ball out off Gulbadin’s hand and the bowler took the return catch much to the pleasure of the Afghanistan fans.  

With 400 beckoning and with big hitters Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes at the crease it looked a certainty but both fell within 13 balls neither passing three.  Moeen Ali hit four sixes in his 31 but failed to get England to 400. His third six meant that Rashid had conceded over a hundred runs in his nine overs.

Afghanistan lost their first wicket in the second over when opener Noor Ali Zadran didn’t move his feet to Jofra Archer and dragged on for a duck.  They should have been two down three overs later when Rahmet got a thick outside edge and the ball thudered into Bairstow’s chest at first ship and rebounded out but Root at second slip couldn’t complete the catch.

But Gulbadin gave his fans something to cheer when he two big fours and a six over mid wicket off Archer.  He and Rahmet got the score beyond fifty when Gulbadin top edged a pull off Wood and Buttler ran from behind the stumps to the edge of the circle and dove full length to take the catch.

Rahmet opened up the offside and chipped Moeen Ali over mid off’s head for a six into the old pavilion. He also late cut Moeen Ali for a four to the third man boundary and he turned Moeen Ali off his legs for another boundary.

He smashed a rank full toss from Adil Rashid straight down Bairstow’s throat on the deep mid wicket boundary.  There was no other fielder near him and Rahmet couldn’t believe what he had done, three runs short of fifty, just stood for an age before walking off.

Asgard Afghan went down the wicket to Rashid and drilled him over mid wicket for a six under the point but the ball was dropped by a spectator.

Hashmattullah Shaidi ducked into a short ball from Mark  Wood and was hit on the head. After receiving treatment and being checked by paramedics he carried on. In Wood’s next over he played a tennis shot  to a short ball for a straight six that just missed the sight screen. He reached his fifty which came from 68 balls when he swept Rashid to the square leg boundary

The sixes continued when Afghan launched Rashid over cow corner, two balls later Afghan danced down the wicket and hit Rashid for a straight six.  On 52 he top edged a pull off Archer and the ball was in the air for a long time but Bairstow running round from fine leg dropped it. Their partnership yielded 94 runs in 16 overs and was broken when Afghan  pushed at Rashid and edged him to Root at slip who took a low catch. His brave innings ended when after smashing Archer for a boundary he walked too far over and was bowled.

Nabi got too far under a drive off Rashid and the ball went miles in the air and Stokes had to wait an age to catch the ball.  Nabi got off the mark by smashing Rashid for a massive six.

Najib  had a wild swing at Wood and was bowled. Rashid tried to smash Archer over point but found Bairstow.  Ikram was hit on the head by the last ball of the match.


June 19, 2019 2:34 pm

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