Morgan powers England to 397 against Afghans


England skipper Eoin Morgan’s remarkable 71-ball 148 helped his team to score a mammoth 397/6 against Afghanistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup match in Manchester yesterday. This is the highest score in this year’s World Cup. This was Eoin Morgan’s 13th ODI hundred and his 1st in a World Cup. Morgan smashed a staggering 17 sixes and 4 fours for his 148-run innings. Other batsmen Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow played brilliant knocks of 90 and 88 respectively.

Earlier, England won the toss and opted to bat first. James Vince, only playing after regular opener Jason Roy was ruled out with a torn hamstring, fell for 26 when he mishooked paceman Dawlat Zadran to Mujeeb Ur Rahman at short fine-leg. But with Roy’s injury set to keep him out of England's match against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday as well, Vince may get at least one more chance to impress. Afghanistan held England to 46-1 off the first 10 overs -- their lowest powerplay total so far this World Cup.

But England, bidding to win the trophy for the first time, upped the tempo. Joe root and Bairstow started to build an alliance and played some good shots. Bairstow was untroubled until on 90, and in sight of his eighth one-day international century, he chipped a return catch to Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib. England were then 164 for two in the 30th over, with Bairstow and Joe Root having put on 120 for the second wicket -- their fourth century stand at this level.

After that skipper Eoin Morgan came into the pitch and started some remarkable power hitting along with Joe Root. They were hitting ball in all parts of the ground and Afghan bowlers were just helpless in front of their relentless power hitting. Together they had a quick-fire 189-run partnership. Morgan his century of just 57 balls, which is the fourth fastest in the World Cup history. After Morgan and Root’s dismissal, England lost some wickets in quick succession but still managed to get 397.