The onslaught was brutal. The ball disappeared into the stands with astonishing regularity. It was mayhem in the middle.
Eoin Morgan’s approach was muscular and direct. The ball was bludgeoned than struck. And the sphere was sent into a tizzy flight to different destinations at Old Trafford by the marauding Morgan.
Truth to tell, the Afghans did not quite know what hit them. They were blown away by the Morgan blitzkrieg.
In all Morgan, walking in at No. 4, faced 71 deliveries for his explosive 148. And he powered the sphere to a mind-boggling 17 sixes, the most by a batsman in an ODI innings.
The hapless Rashid Khan, so influential in the IPL, suffered nightmare in daylight, taken to the cleaners by the rampant Morgan. As he came under a severe pounding, Rashid lost his rhythm and confidence. Consequently, his length suffered.
In fact, Rashid conceded 110 runs in his nine overs, the most expensive figures in ODI cricket. And no bowler has given away more sixes than Rashid’s 11 in this innings.
The gutsy Afghanistan leg-spinner is still young, learning his craft and will surely put this horrendous outing behind. The ruthless Morgan generated immense power with bat-speed and the talented Rashid is bound to come up with an answer in the days to come.
But then, this was England’s day. It’s 397 was the side’s highest total in the World Cup; and it won by a mile.
ALSO READ | Morgan calm despite back-to-back defeats
After the fiasco of the 2015 edition where England dished out a stale outdated brand of one-day cricket, Morgan had transformed the team’s approach and attitude into an aggressive all-action one, with entertainment being the buzzword.
England was now setting the pace. And lined up in the team were players with a sense of adventure.
And Morgan surely deserved his place under the sun at Old Trafford. It was pulse-pounding stuff from the England captain, encapsulating his team’s philosophy.