Eoin Morgan smashes 17 sixes in  masterly, record-breaking assault as England demolish Afghanistan

England's captain Eoin Morgan walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket for 148 runs
Eoin Morgan hit 17 sixes in his 148 as England thrash Afghanistan at the World Cup Credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images

Eoin Morgan unleashed a furious, record-breaking assault as England overpowered Afghanistan by 150 runs at Old Trafford, hitting 17 sixes as his side took over top spot in the World Cup standings.

The England captain was a pre-match injury doubt having been laid low by a painful back spasm but proved himself more than fit for purpose as he hammered his way into the history books with a merciless knock of 148 in just 71 balls.

Morgan broke new ground when he cleared the ropes for the final time - Chris Gayle, AB De Villiers and Rohit Sharma having all hit 16 in a one-day innings - leaving England on course for their highest ever World Cup total, 397 for six.

It was an astonishing display from the Dubliner, who was agonisingly dropped on 28 by Dawlat Zadran, and enough to make window dressing out Jonny Bairstow's 90 and Joe Root's 88.

Afghanistan batted admirably in response without ever threatening, leaving them on five consecutive defeats and allowing England to leapfrog Australia on net run-rate.

On paper the fixture was the biggest mismatch of the tournament - 10th against first in the world rankings - and the final margin reflected that gulf.

What nobody predicted was the fate of master spinner Rashid Khan, who returned ghoulish figures of 9-0-110-0, the worst in the competition's 44-year history and just three shy of Mick Lewis' all-time ODI nadir.

Afghanistan batted on gamely to 247 for eight, their best World Cup score but nowhere near enough to challenge.

The first 20 overs of the match represented little more than a prelude to the coming destruction, James Vince's inconsequential 26 drawing attention to the injury-enforced absence of Jason Roy, before Bairstow and Root built a careful base at 106 for one.

The Afghan attack began with admirable discipline and plenty of dot balls but a dismal fielding performance repeatedly released the pressure. That allowed the Yorkshire duo to settle in, Root progressing at a serene rate while scarcely swinging his bat.

Bairstow was more forceful, rocking onto the back foot to heave Rashid Khan for the first of 11 sixes against and drilling Mohammad Nabi flat down the ground for another.

Bairstow fell for 90 Credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images

The partnership yielded 120 before Bairstow fell 10 short his ton, suckered into a return catch by Gulbadin Naib's back-of-the-hand slower ball. The bowler celebrated with his customary bicep flex in the middle, deflecting attention from Morgan's arrival.

He would not stay in the shadows for long. Root had 45 at the time but was soon the junior partner, Morgan lashing his eighth and ninth balls for six.

England did not reach 200 until the 36th over but would almost double their total before the close. It might have been a different story had Dawlat not flailed when Morgan erred, palming an inviting top-edge for four and setting in motion a relentless passage of power-hitting.

Rashid was the unlucky bowler and quickly paid the price, Morgan heaving two of his next four balls for six. The star leg-spinner had conceded 36 off his first five overs and shipped an incredible 74 off his next four.

Morgan race past Root in the 40th over, during which he became the eighth man to reach 200 ODI sixes. He converted 50 into 100 in just 21 deliveries, clearing the ropes three times in six Rashid Khan balls, and kept on swinging.

Morgan levelled the sixes record with back-to-back blows off Gulbadin then brushed off Root's dismissal by hitting a 17th hard over his fellow skipper's head. He holed out next ball, finally falling short as he aimed over long-off.

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes came and went without adding to the entertainment but Moeen Ali whacked 30 in an eight-ball cameo that took England's six tally to 25, another all-time high.

Only the wildest optimist would have entertained hopes of a successful chase and the reply became something of a box-ticking exercise as a result.

Jofra Archer began the process, bowling Noor Ali for a duck via a healthy inside edge, before Gulbadin floundered to Mark Wood's 92mph bouncer.

Adil Rashid cashed in with three wickets through the middle, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan and Nabi all beaten, but Afghanistan refused to be rolled over.

Hashmatullah Shahidi played an indignant hand, felled by a wicked Wood bouncer on 24 but carrying on to make 76. Archer ended his resistance, and added Rashid Khan for good measure, to take his tournament tally to 11. PA

Man of the match Eoin Morgan speaks

It’s a fantastic day for us. I managed to have a day out, which is great. I'm getting quite old, hobbling around with a bad back, so you never think you can produce an innings like that. I never thought in my wildest dreams I could do that. It's nice to keep up with the youngsters. 

“think I have changed as a batsman. Everyone plays the sort of shots I did at the start of my career, so they’re not as effective, and field placings are different. I’ve gone full circle and I’m probably stronger down the ground than I’ve ever been. I haven’t put my back out yet. Tomorrow’s might be a rough day though!

Michael Vaughan's player ratings' verdict

England win by 150 runs

Eoin Morgan was masterly, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow made excellent contributions, Moeen Ali sadistically doubled down on an overpowered Afghanistan attack. England's opponents batted better than they have at any other time in this World Cup but there were very encouraging signs for the big tests ahead from the performances of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and, yes, Adil Rashid, with the ball. Archer and Wood bowl with venomus and dangerously skiddy pace. All bodes well for England and for those who have shares in helmet manufacturers.  

OVER 50: AFG 247/8 (Alikhil 3* Dawlat 0*) Chasing 398  

Archer ends the game by sconning Alikhil with a  bouncer that crashes into his helmet which seems a little unnecessary.  

Wicket!!

Rashid Khan c Bairstow b Archer 8 Having dropped two Bairstow turns to the crowd at cover as he pouches the catch. Rashid Khan was waiting for the slower ball but could not control it as it bounces above his midriff. He slices the cut to the cover sweeper.  FOW 247/8

OVER 49: AFG 246/7 (Rashid 8* Alikhil 3*) Chasing 398 

Rashid flays Wood's slower ball for four through mid-off and he ends his spell with 10-1-40-2. 

OVER 48: AFG 239/7 (Rashid 2* Alikhil 2*) Chasing 398 

Experimentation from Archer who tries some from round the wicket to Alikhil who gets away with a glide down to third man. Rashid Khan slaps two off the back foot to the cover sweeper, collaring a cut and hooking it off the tow. Archer varies his pace as well as his length and line, preparing for future opponents. 

OVER 47: AFG 235/7 (Rashid 0* Alikhil 1*) Chasing 398

Wood greets Alikhil with a 91mph bouncer that he fends off his face with a glove that arcs over his helmet and to Buttler's left. The keeper's quick feet and dive get him there but he can't close his left glove around it and it squirts out. They run a single. 

Wicket!!

Zadran b Wood 15  Gave himself room to swing across the line and loses his leg-stump as he misjudges the pace of the slower, cross-seamer.  FOW 234/7

OVER 46: AFG 234/6 (Zadran 15* Rashid 0*) Chasing 398  

Nice innings from Hashmatullah but he falls to the 'you miss I hit' principle beloved by bowlers who can hold their nerve. 

Wicket!!

Hashmatullah b Archer 76 Going for the ramp, he misses it and is bowled neck and crop as the Australian nonpareil would say.  FOW 234/6

OVER 45: AFG 227/5 (Hashmatullah 71* Zadran 13*) Chasing 398 

Wood relieves Rashid and is taken for five singles with whips, clips, flicks and pushes. This is an ex-game. It has shuffled off to join the choir eternal some time since. 

OVER 44: AFG 222/5 (Hashmatullah 69* Zadran 10*) Chasing 398

Double Nelson - and Afghanistan's Zadran wallops Woakes slower ball over midwicket for six with a baseball-style horizontal swing from an upright stance.  

OVER 43: AFG 212/5 (Hashmatullah 67* Zadran 2*) Chasing 398      

Rashid signs off with 10-0-66-3. Kumar Sangakkara says he has bowled superbly. Not so sure of that but he has bowled more superb deliveries in this spell than he has at the World Cup hitherto. 

NOT OUT

The infernal creaking handle presumably. Daylight between glove, edge and back of bat and ball as the third umpire checked all three. 

England review

Zadran c Buttler b Rashid The keeper thinks he gloved the sweep.

Wicket!!

Nabi c Stokes b Rashid 9 Nabi wants to go out in a blaze of glory, tees off with a front-leg clearing slog across the line that, Purple Haze-style, kisses the sky. Stokes hangs on at long-on.  FOW 210/5

OVER 42: AFG 208/4 (Hashmatullah 66* Nabi 8*) Chasing 398     

Four singles off Woakes. He isn't bowling at the optimum time for him, seems to be on a few overs prematurely but is doing a decent smothering job. 

OVER 41: AFG 204/4 (Hashmatullah 64* Nabi 6*) Chasing 398    

Enter Nabi who starts half-Botham v McDermott fashion by swiping his first ball for six over long-on. It's this match's 32nd six, a record and dents Rashid's figures which now stand at 9-0-62-2. 

Wicket!!

Asghar Afghan c Root b Rashid 44 Fair reward for England's leggie who has extracted turn from this belter of a pitch. The big leg-break dipped, turned and was run off the outside half of the bat to Root at slip.  FOW 198/4 

OVER 40: AFG 196/3 (Hashmatullah 63* Asghar 43*) Chasing 398   

James Vince, who failed with the bat, stands in Roy's place also at point and makes a fine diving stop off Hashmatullah's square drive. Two singles, the only damage to Woakes'  figures.  Afghanistan need 202 off 60 balls, 20.02 per over. 

OVER 39: AFG 194/3 (Hashmatullah 62* Asghar 42*) Chasing 398   

Hashmatullah sweeps for two and reverse sweeps for two more off Rashid who keeps tossing it above the batsmen's eyeline, holding his nerve and keeping his pace down, entreating it to turn as much as he can. 

 

OVER 38: AFG 188/3 (Hashmatullah 57* Asghar 41*) Chasing 398   

Woakes returns and concedes three singles as he runs through his armoury of cutters, bouncers and premature death yorkers. 

OVER 37: AFG 185/3 (Hashmatullah 56* Asghar 39*) Chasing 398  

Morgan perseveres with Rashid who is bowling pretty well to two well-set batsmen. Asghar sweeps him for four and flicks a single down to fine leg. It is a fine pitch for batting and Afghanistan have knuckled down to their task properly. This is their best batting display of the tournament so far. Afghanistan need 213 off 78. 

OVER 36: AFG 180/3 (Hashmatullah 56* Asghar 34*) Chasing 398  

Archer's bouncer ramps too high for Hashmatullah to reach and the umpire extends his arms horizontally. The next ball is still short but rib-high and the left-hander fiddles it round the corner fine for four. Asghar cloths a pull for two and pops a single off his thigh pad.  

OVER 35: AFG 172/3 (Hashmatullah 52* Asghar 31*) Chasing 398 

Turn for Rashid who beats Asghar outside off-stump. Buttler whips off the bails as the batsman groped for it and fell to his knee but his back foot was planted behind the line. Another spins out of the rough and scuttles down the legside - the batsmen add two runs to the wide. Rashid is nothing if not brave, he keeps tossing it up and Hashmatullah takes on the sweep and tickle sit fine for four to bring up his 50 and a well-deserved one, too.  

OVER 34: AFG 160/3 (Hashmatullah 45* Asghar 29*) Chasing 398 

Archer returns after the drinks break and England's strategists lay the trap. Archer bowls short and Asghar pulls over mid-on for four. He goes after another bouncer and top-edges it down to long leg. Bairstow runs in 15m from the fence and dives headlong. He reaches it but cannot hold on. England's best fielder drops another - it was difficult and a steepler but he would normally have held it. 

Hashmatullah is struck on the head by a Wood bouncer Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

 

OVER 33: AFG 153/3 (Hashmatullah 45* Asghar 22*) Chasing 398

Asghar's turn to give it the kitchen sink and he crashes a six over long on, plays tip and run and gives Hashmatullah the strike to smear a six over long-off. That was a leg-break and the left-hander hit against the turn but England had no fielder back on the fence. They want him to play that stroke and believe the occasional six is a price worth paying because if carries on he may well pop one up to cover, slicing it as he swipes away. 

OVER 32: AFG 140/3 (Hashmatullah 39* Asghar 15*) Chasing 398

Hashmatullah walks across to the offside and flips a glance off his hip for four then does the same again and spoons it closer to but short of long leg. They run a single. Asghar digs out a yorker past the bowler and they sprint a single. Moeen has a sniff of a run-out chance at the striker's, shies at them from 30m and the throw arrows towarsd them, hits the crater in front of middle where batsman mark their guard and spins wide by about 30cm. Remarkable. Hashmatullah glances two down to square leg, hustling the second run, then plays that tennis stroke, a hybrid of a cut and a pull, that hammers a short ball off the front foot over long off for a Dorothy Dix.  

OVER 31: AFG 126/3 (Hashmatullah 26* Asghar 14*) Chasing 398

Good over from Rashid who fizzes a googly past Hashmatullah's edge as the left-hander props forward. He sweeps a single, giving the leg-spinner three balls at Asghar who can only block each of them. 

 

OVER 30: AFG 125/3 (Hashmatullah 25* Asghar 14*) Chasing 398        

Hashmatullah is cleared to continue, changes his helmet and Wood bangs another in that he plays off his chest to third man for a single. 

Hashamatullah ducks into a Wood bouncer

And is struck a sickening blow flush above the ear. England's players gather round immediately. On rush the Afghanistan and England physios and a couple of paramdics but he is on his feet quickly and will now have a head injury assessment. They will have a drink during the delay.  

OVER 29: AFG 122/3 (Hashmatullah 23* Asghar 13*) Chasing 398       

Here you go. Asghar comes on to the dancefloor, hazards a premeditated lofted drive against one that Rashid tossed up and carts it over long on for six.  Adil Rashid goes for his flipper to try to diddle the batsman and nearly does. Asghar shapes to pull but it skids through and he bottom edges it past the stumps for four through fine leg.  

OVER 28: AFG 110/3 (Hashmatullah 22* Asghar 2*) Chasing 398       

Wood jams Asghar's right index finger on to the bat handle as one spits up like a cobra from a good length. Afghanistan have done well to dig in against a side who have two 90mph plus bowlers but they need more than that today. 

OVER 27: AFG 108/3 (Hashmatullah 21* Asghar 1*) Chasing 398      

Rashid ends the over with a gorgeous ball that dips, grips and rips past Asghar's edge as he played French cricket expecting the googly. Two singles through cover preceded it and one from a thumping glance to square leg.  

OVER 26: AFG 105/3 (Hashmatullah 19* Asghar 0*) Chasing 398      

Stokes has a breather after his four-over burst and is replaced by his Durham oppo Mark Wood. The bounce and pace forces circumspection and Hashmatullah ducks one, defends a couple and glides a single down to third man. 

Buttler catches the Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib Credit: AP Photo/Rui Vieira

 

OVER 25: AFG 104/3 (Hashmatullah 18* Asghar 0*) Chasing 398      

Two singles, a wicket and an appeal when Rashid treats Asghar Afghan to the googly first ball. The new batsman goes  on to the back foot to whip it around the corner, misses it but it was heading down.  

Wicket!! 

Rahmat c Bairstow b Rashid  46  Pure filth. Rashid buys his first wicket with a pie, a greasy full toss, that the batsman slaps straight down midwicket's gullet.  FOW 104/3

OVER 24: AFG 102/2 (Rahmat 45* Hashmatullah 17*) Chasing 398     

Stokes turns the screw, purveying heavy, splice-jarring balls. Rahmat can't find the middle of his bat and either inside edges or under edges until the last ball which he runs down to third man for a single. Adil Rashid, who needs a long bowl, is coming on. I remain convinced England cannot win this World Cup unless he finds his form. He may not need it against India who play him superbly but he has consistently lured NZ and Australia on to the rocks. 

OVER 23: AFG 100/2 (Rahmat 44* Hashmatullah 16*) Chasing 398    

Rahmat works two through midwicket off Moeen to bring up Afghanistan's hundred. Rahmat cannot hit the other five balls off the square, nor penetrate the infield. Moeen has 7-0-35-0. 

OVER 22: AFG 98/2 (Rahmat 42* Hashmatullah 16*) Chasing 398    

Four singles again - excellent containment job by Stokes. 

OVER 21: AFG 94/2 (Rahmat 40* Hashmatullah 14*) Chasing 398   

Hello! Big turn for Moeen as the ball hits the edge of a foothold underneath the left-handed Hasmatullah's nose. This is the same pitch used by India and Pakistan on Sunday and there are a couple of worn patches for Moeen and Adil Rashid to exploit. Rashid Khan was either too short or too full to benefit from them. Rahmat flicks a boundary off his pads fine and chops a single to the point sweeper, Hashmatullah drives one to the man on the cover boundary. 

Well said, Luke Wright and Stuart Broad. People who think 'banter' pardons all sins can do one:

 

OVER 20: AFG 86/2 (Rahmat 34* Hashmatullah 12*) Chasing 398   

The opposition notwithstanding, this is the best Stokes has bowled in the tournament so far. In the box, Michael Clarke is lusting after ice cream, coveting a Mr Whippy that is being devoured. Were they not once Mr Softee? Or were they rivals? How did Whippy get the upper hand? Two singles dabbed to third man, one driven between batsman and mid-on. 

OVER 19: AFG 83/2 (Rahmat 32* Hashmatullah 11*) Chasing 398  

Moeen and Morgan pay the price for having no slip when Rahmat fiddles at a drive outside off and nicks it at catcahble height for four. A single drilled down to long-on is the only other damage off a very tight over from the off-spinner.  

Afghanistan require 315 off 186 balls.

OVER 18: AFG 78/2 (Rahmat 27* Hashmatullah 11*) Chasing 398  

Enter Ben Stokes. Rahmat heaves across the line, misses and is struck on the flap of the pad. Too high to warrant the strangled appeal. Stokes bounces Rahmat who helicopters a hook at it but misses and concedes his first run when the No3 prods forward and the ball dribbles towards midwicket off the edge. Hasmatullah opens the face to drive past point for two and Stokes completes the over with another bumper outside off-stump that the batsman sniffs at but lets by.  

 

OVER 17: AFG 75/2 (Rahmat 26* Hashmatullah 9*) Chasing 398 

Rahmat inspires the Afghanistan fans to rediscover their voices and joy when he skips down the track to Moeen and thrashes an inside-out drive over long off for six. Milking three further singles takes them to drinks in good cheer. 

OVER 16: AFG 66/2 (Rahmat 18* Hashmatullah 8*) Chasing 398

Hashmatullah drops beneath Wood's bouncer, defends three and tries to run one off the face that is cut off by gully. Wood ends the over with another bumper to force the scorer to join the dots for his first M. 

OVER 15: AFG 66/2 (Rahmat 18* Hashmatullah 8*) Chasing 398          

It's four singles off Moeen again as he mixes up his pace and line to confound the batsmen's desire to attack him. 

OVER 14: AFG 62/2 (Rahmat 16* Hashmatullah 6*) Chasing 398          

Hashmatullah defends one, lets one by and slashes at the third from Wood that sails off the left-hander's edge between slip and gully for four. Wood responds with a bouncer that was unplayable and unreachable. Wide. But the next is a peach, pitching middle and off, spitting up off a length and straightening. It requires a block worthy of the Brigadier and is given the respectful treatment by Hashmatullah.   

OVER 13: AFG 57/2 (Rahmat 16* Hashmatullah 2*) Chasing 398          

Four singles off Moeen, Hashmatullah's two come behind the wicket on either side, Rahmat's are tucked off the pads and check-drived down the ground. 

OVER 12: AFG 53/2 (Rahmat 14* Hashmatullah 0*) Chasing 398          

Mark Wood begins the over bowling like the wind and losing his footing, an occurrence that is becoming as frequent as Steven Finn and the non-striker's stumps. He ends it with a wicket. Whirlwind pace - 145kmh/91 mph - scrambles minds and tests techniques. They can defend against it but attacking a bouncer spearing towards the adam's apple is another kettle of cod entirely. 

Wicket!!

Gulbadin c Buttler b Wood 37 Undone by the pace, eh top-edges a hook and Buttler runs a good 20m towards short fine leg to snaffle it.  FOW 52/2

OVER 11: AFG 51/1 (Gulbadin 37* Rahmat 12*) Chasing 398         

Moeen Ali is the first change as he usually is when selected. Rahmat comes down the pitch and on-drives a single, Gulbadin Naib glances one off his shin and Rahmat cuffs a long hop round the corner. Solid start.  

 

OVER 10: AFG 48/1 (Gulbadin 36* Rahmat 10*) Chasing 398        

Morgan perseveres with Archer and Gulbadin tries to replicate over No6 with a couple of swipes across the line. He misses the first and French cuts the second into his pad. They run a single as the ball dribbles into the on-side. Rahmat ducks a bumper, is struck on the thumb as he essays a backward defensive and then flips a rib-tickler over midwicket for three. Afghanistan are ahead of England after the first Powerplay.  

OVER 9: AFG 44/1 (Gulbadin 35* Rahmat 7*) Chasing 398       

Fine stroke from Gulbadin who tucks four off his hip and then carves another over point. Rahmat has had a life off Woakes and England's opening bowler has been unlucky in this tournament. Too short this over, though. Time for Wood? 

OVER 8: AFG 35/1 (Gulbadin 26* Rahmat 7*) Chasing 398       

Archer delivers five successive dot balls to the Test captain Rahmat Shah after the ODI captain flicks a single off his hip. Archer runs through the gears into the high eighties but Rahmat, a sound, technical player, is up to the pace but is not a free-scoring batsman. 

OVER 7: AFG 34/1 (Gulbadin 25* Rahmat 7*) Chasing 398      

Gulbadin Naib picks Woakes' slower ball yorker and simply jabs down, opens the face and steers it through point for two. Woakes slides the next across him and the umpire calls it wide and Gulbadin plays tip and run again, dropping the ball into the covers for a single. They bring back the two slips for Rahmat and he covers the bounce to dab a single wide of the cordon, rolling his wrists a little. Third man hurls it back in and the same fielder has his legs stretched by Gulbadin's deliberate edge down there, a sensible stroke given England withdraw their slips when the captain is on strike. 

In the age of hyperinflation:

 

OVER 6 AFG 28/1 (Gulbadin 21* Rahmat 6*) Chasing 398     

Gulbadin launches a breathtaking assault on Archer, swinging across the line to cart a length ball for four to midwicket before smashing the next for six into the long pasture. For his encore the Afghanistan captain nails the attempted yorker over mid-off for four. Fourteen off three balls. Archer ends the over with a snorter to Rahmat Shah that ramps on him and trims his tache as it whistles by and he jack-knifes out of the road. 

OVER 5: AFG 13/1 (Gulbadin 6* Rahmat 6*) Chasing 398    

Rahmat cashes in when Woakes drops short outside off. He gets up on his toes and clatters it off the back foot a la Greenidge for four through point. Playing away from his body a second time almost leads him to his doom - he pokes at one outside off and nicks off to first slip. Bairstow spills a cuckoo, a dolly, a sitter and Root, stricken with lumbago at second slip, cannot grasp the rebound. 

OVER 4: AFG 9/1 (Gulbadin 4* Rahmat 1*) Chasing 398    

Rahmat prods a single through cover off Archer, Gulbadin rocks back to meet the one fired into his hip to short-arm pull, T-Rex style, and spoons it over square leg for two. The crease needs repairing because of a crater where the right-arm bowler's foot lands from over the wicket. On come two groundsmen with a lump hammer who proceed to knock the daylights out of the turf.  

Jofra Archer makes the breakthrough Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

 

OVER 3: AFG 6/1 (Gulbadin 4* Rahmat 1*) Chasing 398   

Singles for Gulbadin into the covers with a push and Rahmat playing tip and run to the same fielder. Gulbadin has a big hoick at one Woakes veers into his pads and misses, aiming for deep midwicket but squaring himself up. It's a thankless mission they've been given but England made only 46 from the first 10. They have no chance, given their history and strengths, of getting to 398 but if they can hang around in the opening PP there's no reason they can't kick on from 15-40 towards 280. 

OVER 2: AFG 4/1 (Gulbadin 3* Rahmat 0*) Chasing 398  

Jofra Archer takes the other new ball as usual, pitches it up and Gulbadin check drives it crisply between the bowler and mid-off. Woakes chases it down from mid-on and slides to haul it back from the rope to save one as they run three. Archer is quick and unnerves batsmen but the one that took Noor Ali Zadran's wicket need the 'assist' from the batsman. He could have safely left it or taken a stride to get his head over the ball and play with less risk. Archer is making the ball jump from a good length - Rahmat wisely leaves the 88mph flyers well alone. Root is back on and grimaces when he has to sprint. 

Wicket!!

Noor Ali Zadran b Archer 0  A fifth-stump, fullish ball. Noor throws his arms after it to drive and drags it on to off-stump. It never rains ... FOW 4/1

OVER 1: AFG 1/0 (Noor Ali Zadran  0* Gulbadin 0*) Chasing 398 

Chris Woakes takes the first new ball. Joe Root hasn't come out to field - he spent parts of his innings stretching his lower back and hamstrings. Not a great deal of bounce for Woakes and there's a touch of movement off the pitch. He seams one back into Noor and it heads towards his body before he yanks his groin out of the road. There's a wide arrowed down the legside and then Woakes pitches it the ball up. Noor defends three with a full face and wears the last one angling across him and going down on the front pad. I'd happily hang this on my wall:

 

Good afternoon

I think Eoin Morgan and Nasser Hussain have been the two most important England cricketers of my adulthood, two captains who have transformed the culture and professionalism of England teams and have led with dedication, bloody-mindedness, skill and intelligence. Morgan's innings today does not enhance the admiration I am sure is his due because his contribution is so much more significant than runs and sixes but it should, nonetheless, earn him the praise he deserves from anyone who doubts his ability to make gamechanging impact with the bat as well as his character and tactics. 

Afghanistan need 398 to win

Well, that was something else wasn't it? England have surely done enough to win this game, but what a way to go about it. Bairstow and Root batted superbly, but it is Morgan whose innings will be long remembered. Seventeen sixes is a new individual ODI record and England's 25 team sixes is also an ODI record. Indeed, it went almost unnoticed that Moeen hit 31 off nine balls at the end. That's all from me. I shall hand over to Rob Bagchi for the Afghanistan run chase and leave you to admire two things.

A quite bonkers acceleration:

 And Morgan's wagon wheel:

England (397/6) off 50 overs

That. Was. Incredible.

OVER 50: ENG 397/6 (Moeen 31* Woakes 1*)

Dawlat is finishing off very well and he's unfortunate to concede four here as Moeen top edges a fine bouncer just over the keeper's head. There's no luck involved later in the over though as Moeen launches the ball over the mid-wicket boundary for a huge six. And then repeats the trick off the very next ball!

WICKET! Stokes b Dawlat 2

Dawlat is picking up some fine wickets at the end here. Stokes steps outside off stump and Dawlan responds by firing in a yorker at the base of leg stump. FOW 378/6

OVER 49: ENG 378/5 (Stokes 2* Moeen 14*)

Rashid is handed the ball again with Morgan now departed, but with his skipper gone it's left to Moeen to swing through a full delivery and notch up another massive six. That brings up Rashid's hundred... runs conceded. Stokes then survives an incredibly narrow stumping shout by about a millimetre before Moeen whacks another six over long-on. Rashid's bowling is done and he has conceded the most runs in World Cup history: 9-0-110-0.

OVER 48: ENG 364/5 (Stokes 1* Moeen 1*)

I doubt it will matter much as few would expect Afghanistan's batsman to get anywhere near this, but it's a brilliant over at this stage of the innings from Dawlat. A wicket and four runs from it.

WICKET! Buttler c Nabi b Dawlat 2

Afghanistan are restoring a modicum of dignity at the end of this innings. It's a fine slower ball from Dawlat, which Buttler meekly chips into mid-off's hands. FOW 362/5

OVER 47: ENG 359/4 (Buttler 0* Stokes 0*)

I'm running out of words. Gulbadin returns and Morgan instantly lifts him for six back over his head. The second ball is then crashed for six more over mid-on. And he creams one more after Root's departure to break the record for the most number of sixes ever hit in an ODI innings: 17 of them. Phenomenal stuff. A standing ovation as he departs.

WICKET! Morgan c Rahmat b Gulbadin 148

One of the great England ODI innings comes to an end in identical fashion to Root's dismissal earlier in the innings. 148 off 71 balls. FOW 359/4

WICKET! Root c Rahmat b Gulbadin 88

Afghanistan have a wicket! Gulbadin rolls his wrist over the ball and causes Root to hole out to long-on. A fine innings of 88 off 82 balls. FOW 353/3

OVER 46: ENG 340/2 (Root 88* Morgan 129*)

Morgan's 13 sixes is a record in an ODI innings for England. Dawlat returns to become the latest victim. Eurgh, imagine being an Afghanistan bowler right now. Root carves him for four over extra cover. Then Morgan does the same trick but the result is a 14th six. Fourteen. FOURTEEN. A cross-bat heave then only goes for four before a single is greeted with ironic cheers by an Old Trafford crowd who are loving life.

OVER 45: ENG 323/2 (Root 83* Morgan 118*)

Rashid is still bowling... and Root launches him for six over mid-on! Blimey, Rashid is getting marmalised here. Morgan then continues where he left off with a slog sleep for his 12th six of the innings. And then number 13 promptly comes up with a lofted drive over long-off. Incredible hitting. Incredible.

OVER 44: ENG 302/2 (Root 76* Morgan 104*)

Oi oi, now Root is getting in on the act with a ramp shot off Gulbadin for four. The Old Trafford crowd are loving this. The over goes for nine, which Afghanistan will be pleased with given the current state of affairs.

OVER 43: ENG 293/2 (Root 70* Morgan 101*)

Rashid is back into the attack. He's received some tap already today... and it continues here with Morgan clearing the front leg and creaming him for yet another straight six. That back spasm isn't affecting his ability to hit the ball over the boundary rope. And he then clubs another one! Rashid drags it halfway down the track and Morgan just wallops it into the stand over mid-wicket. And another back down the ground to bring up the fourth fastest hundred in World Cup history! This is carnage. Eleven sixes so far.

OVER 42: ENG 272/2 (Root 69* Morgan 81*)

Much better from Mujeeb, pinning the England batsmen down with an assortment of deliveries to keep them to just three from the over. He's been the pick of the bowlers and finishes his 10 overs having conceded 44 runs.

OVER 41: ENG 269/2 (Root 67* Morgan 80*)

You start to fear for Afghanistan in these remaining 10 overs. Nabi is the latest victim as Morgan skips down the track and hits the biggest six of the day, dead straight over the bowler's head. Very next ball: a rock back and another hoick over mid-wicket for six more. This is brutal.

OVER 40: ENG 255/2 (Root 66* Morgan 67*)

Morgan is on the charge. This time it's a swipe across the line off Mujeeb and the result is the ball sailing over the mid-wicket boundary for his sixth six of the innings. He then sweeps hard and fine for four more. Fourteen off the over and the England captain has now gone past Root, who is happy to cede strike.

OVER 39: ENG 241/2 (Root 65* Morgan 56*)

Nabi returns to the attack and Morgan immediately rocks back and whacks him over mid-wicket for six to bring up a 36-ball half-century. Root then shows a rare bit of unorthodoxy with a switch-hit to the boundary sweeper.

OVER 38: ENG 232/2 (Root 64* Morgan 48*)

Root has just three boundaries in his innings of 63 off 62 balls at the start of this over. His touch is just superb. Mujeeb is called back into action to replace the costly Rashid and concedes four off the over.

OVER 37: ENG 228/2 (Root 63* Morgan 45*)

So how high can England push this? I suspect they will expect 350 minimum from here. And realistically, there is no chance of Afghanistan reaching that. Anyway, Dawlat continues and Root shows all his class and versatility by lifting a short ball outside off over point for four before then planting the next one over mid-wicket for two. Eleven from the over and not a dot ball in sight.

OVER 36: ENG 217/2 (Root 53* Morgan 44*)

Oh deary, deary me. Afghanistan's fielding has been hopeless today and it could cost them dear here. Morgan fails to get hold of a slog sweep and Dawlat should take the catch back-peddling from mid-wicket, but barely lays a fingertip on it and the ball rolls over the boundary rope. Morgan then repeats the trick off the next ball, but finds the middle and the result this time is six. And he ends Rashid's over by pulling for six more! The runs are flowing.

OVER 35: ENG 199/2 (Root 53* Morgan 26*)

One seamer is replaced by another as Dawlat comes back into the attack. Root is doing a lot of back stretching at the moment. England will be praying there is no problem there. He seems to be moving well enough and it isn't stopping him from haring between the wickets. Just three runs from the over though.

OVER 34: ENG 196/2 (Root 51* Morgan 25*)

Rashid is back and Afghanistan need wickets. But there are none here. No boundaries either, but still seven risk-free runs from the over. Some thick cloud cover hangs above Old Trafford now.

OVER 33: ENG 189/2 (Root 50* Morgan 19*)

A trademark tickle and scurry for one off Nabi brings up Root's fifth half-century in six ODI innings. In fact, these are his most recent innings: 40, 43, 36, 84, 51, 107, 21, 100* and now 50*. He's some batsmen. Morgan, meanwhile, does what he does best and reverse-sweeps brilliantly over short third-man for four.

OVER 32: ENG 183/2 (Root 49* Morgan 14*)

Gulbadin oversteps, which offers Morgan a free hit... that he plants over deep mid-wicket for six. That was some shot because it was a slower ball from Gulbadin, which Morgan had to wait so long for. Great timing and great strength. He then steps down the wicket the very next ball and doubles up the six count with a swing through the line to plonk the ball just in front of the sightscreen. Big over.

Some serious guns on display from Gulbadin here:

OVER 31: ENG 168/2 (Root 48* Morgan 1*)

That was a really important time for Afghanistan to strike, just as Bairstow was looking to increase the rate. And you think he would have kicked into another gear had he reached three figures. Nabi is back into the attack aiming at the rough outside left-handed Morgan's off stump. Just four runs from the over. Root is so good at getting off strike.

OVER 30: ENG 164/2 (Root 45* Morgan 0*)

A fine over from Gulbadin and a big, big wicket. Morgan, having recovered from his back niggle, is the new man.

WICKET! Bairstow c & b Gulbadin 90

Well bowled Gulbadin and Bairstow is understandably very disappointed. The Afghanistan seamer rolled his fingers over the ball, which fooled Bairstow and prompted him to chip it back, where Gulbadin dived smartly in front of him to hold the return to catch. FOW 164/2

OVER 29: ENG 163/1 (Bairstow 90* Root 44*)

In fact, it's back to both new-ball bowlers as Mujeeb returns. Bairstow was very respectful early on. Will he continue to be so here? It seems so. No risks taken with three singles and a two from the over.

OVER 28: ENG 158/1 (Bairstow 87* Root 42*)

Rashid is given a break and it's back to some seam with Gulbadin, who bowled well with the new ball this morning. He continues in a similar vein here, conceding just three singles.

OVER 27: ENG 155/1 (Bairstow 86* Root 40*)

Have a bit of that. Bairstow steps down the track and wallops Nabi straight for six. With a few more singles that takes the over's run tally to 10. England are just starting to quicken now.

OVER 26: ENG 145/1 (Bairstow 79* Root 38*)

Bairstow moves ever closer to three figures, this time aided by some poor fielding on the cover boundary, which allows him to pick up four more off Rashid. Root, meanwhile, is doing what Root does - playing second fiddle with aplomb.

OVER 25: ENG 139/1 (Bairstow 74* Root 37*)

Cracking timing from Bairstow who pulls sweetly off Nabi and gives the deep square-leg fielder no chance despite only having to move about 10 metres. Seven runs off the over as the rate begins to increase.

 The fielding really has been poor.

OVER 24: ENG 132/1 (Bairstow 69* Root 35*)

Now it's Rashid's turn to change ends and Bairstow crunches a slog sweep straight of mid-wicket for four. Rashid almost gets revenge by bamboozling Bairstow next ball and taking the outside edge, but Bairstow repeats his first trick with another slog sweep. This one is even sweeter though and the ball sails all the way into the crowd for six.

OVER 23: ENG 118/1 (Bairstow 56* Root 34*)

Another bowling change sees Nabi replace Rashid and Root instantly rocks back deep into his crease to cut for three behind square. Scamper, scamper, scamper.

OVER 22: ENG 112/1 (Bairstow 54* Root 30*)

It's been an interesting approach from the England batsmen today. Perhaps they decided early on that this is not a 350-run track. Or maybe they just want wickets intact until the latter stages. Whatever the reason, they are not offering any chances out there and continue to rely on some great running between the wickets to keep the scoreboard moving.

OVER 21: ENG 109/1 (Bairstow 52* Root 29*)

Just three runs off Rashid as England continue to take no risks against the most dangerous of the Afghan bowlers.

OVER 20: ENG 106/1 (Bairstow 52* Root 26*)

As well as they have bowled, Afghanistan's fielding has been bang average today and another misfield allows a single to bring up England's 100. Bairstow then crashes Gulbadin through extra-cover for four and that will be his half-century. Coming off 61 balls, it's his slowest as an England opener in ODIs.

OVER 19: ENG 98/1 (Bairstow 46* Root 24*)

Afghanistan will be pleased with how they have fared in the early stages and now here comes their danger man: Rashid Khan. Root picks up a couple through cover before a thick Bairstow edge evades the point fielder for two more. There's certainly some grip in this surface for the spinners to use.

OVER 18: ENG 92/1 (Bairstow 43* Root 21*)

Full from Gulbadin and Bairstow just biffs it straight back past the bowler for four. Time for a drinks break.

OVER 17: ENG 86/1 (Bairstow 38* Root 20*)

Right, I've got no idea what's going on with all these bowling changes. Now Rahmat is back at a different end to the one he bowled his previous over from. He offers a bit too much flight though, allowing Root to drop down, turn it into a full toss and sweep hard for four. He then adds two to mid-on, two to the cover sweeper and a couple of singles.

OVER 16: ENG 75/1 (Bairstow 36* Root 11*)

Now Gulbadin also changes ends but there's nothing doing for the batsmen beyond singles. Three of them here.

OVER 15: ENG 72/1 (Bairstow 34* Root 10*)

It seems a change of ends was in order for Nabi as he is now back into action with these two men quick between the wickets tickling singles. England are operating below five runs an over here.

OVER 14: ENG 68/1 (Bairstow 32* Root 8*)

Nabi's spell lasts just one over and leggie Rahmat is now given a chance to try his luck. That's five Afghanistan bowlers used and still no Rashid Khan. He begins with an absolute snorter that rips past Bairstow's forward prod. The England opener then decides attack is a better option and leathers the straightest of straight drives for the first six of the day. A brilliant shot.

OVER 13: ENG 60/1 (Bairstow 25* Root 7*)

Gulbadin is into the attack to bowl some seamers and the result is a lone thick edge down to third-man for a single.

How not to play a pull, courtesy of James Vince:

Credit: Reuters

OVER 12: ENG 59/1 (Bairstow 24* Root 7*)

Dawlat has the breakthrough and now it is time for Nabi to have a tweak. Bairstow welcomes him to the party by dropping down on knee and slog-sweeping with impressive power to the cow-corner boundary. Root then gets in on the act in typical Root style, showing off his perfect timing by opening the face and cutting for four through backward point.

OVER 11: ENG 48/1 (Bairstow 18* Root 2*)

Mujeeb is into his sixth over and England's batsmen continue to be watchful against him. A single here, a single there. In fact, just two of them. They cannot get him away, although they aren't really trying to at the moment.

OVER 10: ENG 46/1 (Bairstow 17* Root 1*)

That innings was peak Vince: looked imperious at times but departs cheaply for 26 (ODI average: 28, Test average: 25, T20 average: 29). Root is the new man and he is in fine form in this tournament. The first Powerplay is completed and Afghanistan have done a good job so far.

WICKET! Vince c Mujeeb b Dawlat 26

Still no change in the bowling as Dawlat continues. And he continues to bowl short and Vince continues to pull... but it proves his downfall! A top edge seems to loop off his helmet and nestle into the hands of short fine-leg, who cannot drop it. FOW 44/1

OVER 9: ENG 42/0 (Vince 24* Bairstow 17*)

More fine stuff from Mujeeb. Just two runs off the over.

OVER 8: ENG 40/0 (Vince 23* Bairstow 16*)

Oh hello. Straight and full from Dawlat, which prompts Vince to stand totally still and just lift the ball straight back over the bowler's head for four. He's nothing if not elegant. It's early days, but Afghanistan have already given away a few runs from misfields today and... now Vince receives a huge let off from a top-edged pull! Nabi - the leg-side boundary rider - made ground to his left but barely left the rope when all he needed to do was come off the line by a few yards. His misjudgment means he fails to even get a hand on the chance.

OVER 7: ENG 32/0 (Vince 15* Bairstow 16*)

There's certainly something in this pitch for the spinner as Mujeeb gets one to stick in the surface and pop up past Bairstow's outside edge. He continues to spin it both ways. A very good over from the young spinner.

OVER 6: ENG 30/0 (Vince 14* Bairstow 16*)

Dawlat isn't getting the message here. Short again to Bairstow and this time he places the pull shot straight of the boundary sweeper to pick up four. Dawlat cannot afford to keep dropping short. Vince then shows a first sign of aggression, shuffling down the track and swiping/driving aerially to the boundary past mid-off.

This tells Dawlat's story today:

OVER 5: ENG 20/0 (Vince 9* Bairstow 11*)  

Bairstow is taking his time today, watching Mujeeb like a hawk and waiting for a touch of width or length... which materialises here and allows him to cream a cover drive through the infield for four. Smart batting against a dangerous bowler.

OVER 4: ENG 15/0 (Vince 9* Bairstow 6*)  

Short again from Dawlat and pulled hard by Bairstow, but there is now a man sweeping out on the mid-wicket boundary. I'm not sure medium-paced short stuff is going to have much success today. A fuller length means just that one single off the over though.

OVER 3: ENG 14/0 (Vince 9* Bairstow 5*)  

Mujeeb has the ability to turn the ball both ways with a minimum of change in his action. He's started very well here, bowling five dots to Bairstow, who finally gets to free his arms with a cover drive for three.

OVER 2: ENG 11/0 (Vince 9* Bairstow 2*)  

Seam from the other end courtesy of Dawlat and Vince greets his arrival with a crashing pull shot that pings off the meat of the bat and races away for four through square leg. No one can doubt Vince's classiness. It's his ability to hang around and score big runs that has been often lacking in his international career.

OVER 1: ENG 4/0 (Vince 4* Bairstow 0*)  

No surprise to see Afghanistan kick things off with spin and it is 18-year-old offie Mujeeb to begin. He's got a lot more in his locker than just orthodox off-spin though. Vince gets the scoreboard moving with a flick off his pads for two and then adds a couple more pushed down to long-on.

Here we go

James Vince walks out with Jonny Bairstow.

Used pitch

Remember, this match is being played on the same track that hosted India's victory over Pakistan at the weekend. That match saw India easily defend their total of 336/5, with Pakistan losing by 89 runs (DL method). It suggests England should get the best of it in these early stages.

Pre-match reading

Not long to go before this match begins, but there is still time to read this piece by Tim Wigmore: How in-fighting and wet weather are turning Afghanistan's World Cup dream sour

Here is a snippet:

There aren’t many good news stories in Afghanistan. Naturally, everyone wants to attach themselves to the best of the lot, for political or financial gain or simply reflected glory. 

As Afghanistan’s men in boots have soared, so has their risk of being weighed down by their men in suits. The need for the International Cricket Council to ensure robust governance - including to stop Afghanistan being the sole Full Member without a functional women’s side, and build-up a well-organised A team programme - will only intensify in the years ahead. 

Perhaps the astonishing facts of Afghanistan’s rise obscured what remains new to them. Before the World Cup, they had never played an ODI in England before and had only ever played 23 ODIs against the other nine teams in the competition. For all Afghanistan’s success in T20, both as a team and for individuals in leagues around the world, the requirements of a 50-over World Cup in England are very different.

Change of tact

Here are Afghanistan's three changes: Hazratullah Zazai, Hamid Hassan and Aftab Alam are out. Najibullah Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Dawlat Zadran are in.

England win the toss and bat first

Morgan says: "The wicket looks really good. It played well the other day [for India v Pakistan]". As expected, Vince comes in for the injured Roy. And one other change with Moeen coming in for Plunkett.

Kulpadeen confirms he also would have liked to bat first. "It looks like an Asian wicket," he says, with a smile. There are three changes for Afghanistan. I'll bring you those in a moment.

Morgan plays

England's captain is strolling out for the toss so that means he will definitely play today.

Match preview

Good morning and welcome to coverage of England's fifth game at this World Cup. So far, so good, bar one slip-up against Pakistan, and today's opponents are not expected to cause much trouble.

Afghanistan have been a superb addition to the top ranks of international cricket, but they have been woeful so far in this tournament.

I am firmly in the camp that believes it's a disgrace this World Cup only features 10 teams. What other sport is contracting at a time when most are looking to expand their global reach? It is total madness. But, when listening to the brilliant BBC radio commentary during Bangladesh's thrilling win over West Indies yesterday a decent point was raised (I'm afraid I can't remember who it was raising it).

Afghanistan have not come close to landing a blow on any opposition at this World Cup. Judging by the ease with which England brushed them aside in their warm-up game, we shouldn't expect much today either. So, does it actually benefit anyone to have more "minnows" in a tournament?

The Women's Football World Cup has seen a huge disparity between the top and bottom teams. Surely no one who watched Thailand's 13-0 defeat against the United States could argue that was a good look for a tournament that is meant to display the pinnacle of the sport.

There is undoubted logic to the argument. But frankly, I still don't give a damn. It remains a travesty that the likes of Scotland, Ireland, Zimbabwe etc. are not in this tournament.

Anyway, onto today. Here's the current group points table:

You will no doubt be aware of concerns from the England camp after Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan picked up injuries in their victory over West Indies last week. Roy has been ruled out for some time, while captain Morgan should return today unless England decide to be ultra cautious in a match they fully expect to win.

This World Cup hasn't yet had a nailbiting finish or huge upset. Could today be the day? Probably not. Ah well, stick with me anyway. Stranger things have happened.