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Cricket

Morgan shines as England thrash Afghanistan

18th June 2019, 18:49 by Craig Smithson

Eoin Morgan helped England thrash Afghanistan by 150 runs at the Cricket World Cup with a world-record 17 one-day international sixes.

The England captain beat the record at Old Trafford on his way to firing 148 runs from just 71 balls to help the side reach a mammoth 397-6 from their 50 overs.

James Vince, who took the place of the injured Jason Roy, had earlier fallen for 26, while Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, who shared a 189-run partnership with Morgan, laid the foundations for a huge total as they finished on 90 and 88 respectively.

Following Morgan's dismissal at the hands of Gulbadin Naib, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes both lost their wickets for two runs.

However, Moeen Ali smashed four sixes as he finished unbeaten on 31 from just nine balls, with Chris Woakes adding one run as England fell just short of 400.

Gulbadin and Dawlat Zadran both took three wickets apiece for Afghanistan, whose response got off to a poor start when Noor Ali Zadran was bowled by Zofra Archer for a duck with the side left on 4-1.

The Afghans did rally as Hashmatullah Shahidi hit an impressive 76, while Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan backed him up with respective scores of 46 and 44, but they got nowhere near England's total as the tournament hosts made it four wins out of five.

Archer again finished with three wickets on 3-52, while Adil Rashid (3-66) and Mark Wood (2-40) accounted for the other Afghan wickets as they finished their 50 overs on 247-8.

Man-of-the-match Morgan said: "Getting quite old, running around with a bad back, you never think you can produce an innings like this. I never thought in my wildest dreams I'd produce an innings like that.

"It was a special day. It was a tough game, Afghanistan are a side with a lot of potential and it's the World Cup. We're loving playing in it. On the big stage, it is nice to do.

"I think I have changed. Everybody probably plays the shots I started my career with now, so they're not as effective. I've done full circle and I'm probably stronger down the ground now than I've ever been.

"I haven't yet put my back out! Tomorrow's going to be a rough day, I think..."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

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