England opting to bat first at Old Trafford which is one of their favorite hunting grounds ensured that they enjoyed their game to the hilt vs Afghanistan. The odds of Afghanistan winning was not more than 5% and most of the viewers who were watching the game live were watching only to see how England dominates rather than how the match will pan out as most of them were aware about the outcome!
After an okaish start to the innings with scoreboard reading 1/44 in the 10th over, it wasn’t expected that England would reach a total of 397/6 in 50 overs. However, such was the domination put by the Englishmen that it soon turned out to be a fun-fest for the fans who had come to the ground. Jonny Bairstow continued his classical reign of form hitting an elegant 90 off 99 balls playing the 2nd fiddle to Morgan who was just in some other mood!
Coming at no.4, holding the bat handle from a bit up which not many batsmen nowadays do, Morgan was on a mission to dismantle the entire Afghanistan team. Not only did he destroy the whole team with raw power hitting, he also destroyed the egos of the two of the best bowlers in Mujeeb and Rashid Khan who were taken for a barbaric beating with the bat of Morgan. Eoin reached his hundred in mere 57 balls while overall scored 148 off mere 71 deliveries in which the innings registered a massive 17 sixes. Rashid Khan who conceded 110 runs in 9 overs got smacked for 11 sixes which is the most by any bowler in ODI’s. 110 runs is also the most runs conceded by any bowler in the World Cup. The 20yr old who had the world in his hands full of stardom, name, fame and money at such a tender age must have suddenly felt like an electric jolt receiving a reality check from the best team in the world. With this game and in fact the entire campaign so far, Rashid and his team-mates must have learnt one thing i.e there is still many things to learn! Those flat crack sixes by Morgan appeared as if he was playing some stick cricket or Cricket 07 on a computer as he went on to become the batsman with most number of sixes in an innings in ODI’s surpassing the likes of Gayle, Rohit Sharma and Ab De Villiers.
Afghanistan in reply were able to reach a total of 247/8 in 50 overs with Rahman Shah (46) Hasmatullah (76) and Asghar Afghan (44) showing some resistance. From England, it was again Jofra Archer with 3/52 and Adil Rashid (3/66) being the pick of the bowlers as England won by a big margin of 150 runs where in skipper Eoin Morgan was declared ‘man of the match’