After coming to terms with Bangladesh's spectacular triumph over West Indies yesterday, cricket fans were in for another treat as England locked horns with Afghanistan at Old Trafford, Manchester on 18th June in the ongoing ICC World Cup.
While few would have backed Afghanistan to come out on top against the hosts, no one really expected Eoin Morgan to go all guns blazing in what arguably one of the finest innings of his career. The England captain smashed a breathtaking 148 runs off a mere 71 deliveries, including four fours and a staggering 17 sixes.
Electing to bat, the hosts got off to a decent start before losing James Vince (26) in the 10th over. A 120-run partnership between Jonny Bairstow (90) and Joe Root (88) for the second wicket further piled up misery on Afghanistan. The Gulbadin Naib-led team did get some relief after Bairstow's dismissal in the 30th over, but they couldn't have possibly predicted what Morgan had in store for them.
Coming out to bat, with England poised for a big total at 164/2, the England captain hammered the opposition bowlers all around the park with disdain. The 32-year-old brought up his maiden World Cup hundred in a mere 57 balls wherein he had also slammed 11 sixes. He missed out on reaching the 150-run mark by a mere two runs after getting caught at long-off in the 47th over.June 18, 2019
Apart from reaching 150, while Morgan also missed out on beating Jason Roy's record (153 runs) of the highest score at the ongoing tourney, he still etched his name in the history books with the fourth fastest hundred in a World Cup match. He is only behind Kevin O'Brien, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers on the elite list.
Ireland's Kevin O'Brien holds the record for the fastest World Cup hundred off 50 balls - ironically, it had come against England in a record run chase in 2011. Australia's Glenn Maxwell has the 2nd fastest World Cup hundred off 51 balls while former South Africa batsman AB de Villers is 3rd in the list with a hundred off 55 balls.June 18, 2019
On the other hand, Morgan's tally of 17 sixes - wherein seven came against proven Rashid Khan - allowed him to break the record for most maximums in a single ODI innings. The record was earlier held jointly by Rohit Sharma, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle - each of whom slammed 16 sixes during their respective innings.
After Morgan's blitzkrieg, the home fans were also treated to a quickfire knock from Moeen Ali who smashed a nine-ball 31 at a strike-rate of over 344, including four sixes and a four. Thanks to a spectacular batting show, England managed to post a formidable of 397 runs in their quota of 50 overs.