1812 BST: Afghanistan 247/8 – ENGLAND WIN BY 150 RUNS
The last ball of the over pings Ikram on the helmet. He’s fine, I think, and it’s a win by 150 runs for England who go top of the table having claimed their biggest World Cup win by runs.
England now sit top of the table having given their NRR advantage over Australia another boost today.
WICKET! Rashid Khan c Bairstow b Archer 8 (13b, 1×4, SR: 61.53)
Rashid Khan’s miserable day ends with a smear to cover that is held by Bairstow on the boundary. Almost a no-look catch from Bairstow there, so quickly did he turn to the crowd to celebrate. Three wickets for Archer for the fourth time in this tournament.
1805 BST: Afghanistan 246/7 (49 overs)
Rashid Khan gets one past mid-off for four, but it’s another fine day’s work for Wood who ends with 2/40.
WICKET! Najibullah Zadran b Wood 15 (13b, 1×6, SR: 115.38)
Another slower ball, and the Zings are flashing again. Leg cutter missed by Najibullah as he aims something enormous legside.
WICKET! Hashmatullah Shahidi b Archer 76 (100b, 5×4, 2×6, SR: 76.00)
Slower ball does for Hashmatullah to end a fine and brave innings. Archer has his second wicket of the innings.
1746 BST: Afghanistan 227/5 (45 overs)
Najibullah smears Woakes over midwicket for another crowd-botherer. What a day of hitting this has been. Wood responds with a tight over.
1738 BST: Afghanistan 212/5 (43 overs)
Rashid ends his spell with 3/66 and a review for caught behind as Najibullah attempts a reverse sweep second ball but makes no contact. Ultra-Edge confirms Joel Wilson’s initial verdict. England lose their review. Afghanistan now need more than four per ball.
WICKET! Mohammad Nabi c Stokes b Rashid 9 (7b, 1×6, SR: 128.57)
Nabi goes after Rashid again. Sends the ball a long, long way up but Stokes isn’t fazed and makes the catch look simple at long-on.
1733 BST: Afghanistan 208/4 (42 overs)
DJ breaks out Sweet Caroline. Cameraman finds Bumble in the crowd. Global audience baffled.
1728 BST: Afghanistan 204/4 (41 overs)
Mohammad Nabi walks in and absolutely creams his first ball – the last of Rashid’s over – high into the stands at midwicket. The 32nd six of the day (a World Cup record) and it’s as good as any of the 31 to have come before it.
WICKET! Asghar Afghan c Root b Rashid 44 (48b, 3×4, 2×6, SR: 91.66)
Second wicket for Rashid and a real boost. It’s a lovely leg-break that catches the edge to be smartly taken by Root at slip. Decent catch, that, with Buttler’s gloves leaving him initially unsighted.
1723 BST: Afghanistan 196/3 (40 overs)
The required rate jumps above 20, but by seeing off that Woakes over Afghanistan have surely secured a phase win and that’s the real quiz.
1719 BST: Afghanistan 194/3 (39 overs)
Rashid slightly lucky to escape a rather wild and ragged over with just six off it after losing his line to both off and leg during it. Barring disaster, Afghanistan are an over away from a phase win.
1716 BST: Afghanistan 188/3 (38 overs)
Woakes back into the attack with a tidy over. England have weathered that storm from this pair but will still be frustrated that they’ve been unable to power through this Afghan line-up even if a win by 150-odd is clearly entirely acceptable.
1712 BST: Afghanistan 185/3 (37 overs)
Asghar smacks a hard sweep shot dead square for another boundary off Rashid. Only five runs off the over all told, though. That sends the required rate spiralling to 17.
1708 BST: Afghanistan 180/3 (36 overs)
Hashmatullah tickles Archer away fine to the boundary, and it’s now 54/0 in the last five overs. That this is nowhere near enough is no slight on this pair who are doing a grand job; 300 now a very realistic target and a meaningful achievement for a team with a previous best of 207 in this tournament.
1704 BST: Afghanistan 172/3 (35 overs)
Leg-spinners getting smashed here. Adil Rashid had a great chance to build some confidence here; it’s now being shredded further by Asghar and Hashmatullah. The cut shot that Hashmatullah got away to bring up his 50 was a beauty.
1704 BST: Hashmatullah Shahidi 52* (68b, 3×4, 2×6, SR: 76.47)
Fine effort. And he’s really taken the attack to England since that whack on the head.
1659 BST: Afghanistan 160/3 (34 overs)
Asghar smears a short ball from Archer through wide mid-on for four, but then gets a huge, steepling top edge attempting to repeat the trick. Bairstow makes the ground from fine-leg, but can’t hold on to the catch. It’s not a sitter, but a fielder of his quality getting two hands to the ball even when moving at pace as he was there would expect to take it. Two chances shelled by Bairstow today.
1653 BST: Afghanistan 153/3 (33 overs)
Asghar smacks his second six off Rashid, and Afghanistan are doing the right thing. They’ve already done enough to avoid total humiliation with the bat, and now they’re having some fun. And another one from Hashmatullah to end the over, struck beautifully over long-off! This is comfortably Afghanistan’s best batting display of the tournament, and that six – the 31st of the game – is a World Cup record-equalling one. Afghanistan have scored 27 runs in the last two overs, during which the required rate has climbed to 14.41.
1650 BST: Afghanistan 140/3 (32 overs)
Hashmatullah now taking the short ball on. And gloriously. Get Wood away fine on the legside for four and then, even better – and up there with anything Morgan did – smashes another short ball over long-on for six.
1645 BST: Afghanistan 126/3 (31 overs)
Good comeback from Rashid after that expensive third over.
1642 BST: Afghanistan 125/3 (30 overs)
He’s carrying on. Not remotely sure he should be, but there we go. Immediately gets another short ball from Wood, and plays it pretty well down to fine-leg for a single.
1636 BST: Afghanistan 124/3 (29.5 overs)
Going to be a delay here. Sickening blow for Hashmatullah as a ferocious Wood bouncer thuds flush into the batting helmet. There was a warning earlier in the over when Afghan just got a glove in the way of a similar delivery. Hashmatullah tried to drop the hands and get his head out of the way and got nowhere near it. He’s up on his feet, which is good to see, but there is real concern from all the England players. Not sure he can or should continue here. Concussion tests happening right now out on the field.
1633 BST: Afghanistan 118/3 (29 overs)
That’s the stuff. Asghar Afghan slog-sweeps Rashid 90m over midwicket for six and gets four more for a bottom-edge fine on the legside. Twelve from the over, so unfortunately he required rate climbs again to 13.14
1630 BST: Afghanistan 110/3 (28 overs)
Somebody should probably have a bit of a whack now to be honest.
1626 BST: Afghanistan 108/3 (27 overs)
Adil Rashid has had a tough World Cup, and will be delighted to roll his arm over under no pressure. Even better when you get gifted a wicket in your first over. He’s through two overs for just five runs in addition to the wicket of Rahmat.
1624 BST: Afghanistan 105/3 (26 overs)
Just a single from Wood’s comeback over. The required rate creeps above 12.
1620 BST: Afghanistan 104/3 (25 overs)
Wood back into the attack with a new batsman in.
WICKET! Rahmat Shah c Bairstow b Rashid 46 (74b, 3×4, 1×6, SR: 62.16)
All for this. An absolutely filthy knee-high full-toss from Rashid, and Rahmat cloths it straight down Bairstow’s throat at midwicket.
1613 BST: Afghanistan 102/2 (24 overs)
Nothing happening in the middle now. Why not watch Morgan smacking sixes instead, yeah?
— Cricket365 (@Cricket365) June 18, 2019
1608 BST: Afghanistan 100/2 (23 overs)
Hundred up. The biggest ever defeat by runs almost avoided. Rahmat six away from a 50. Reasons to be cheerful.
1605 BST: Afghanistan 98/2 (22 overs)
We are watching the game, honestly. Afghanistan are batting nicely and, honestly, I think this has been right from them. Gulbadin had a dip at the powerplay, which was perfectly fair enough, and they’re now batting sensibly to try and get a solid total on the board. Meanwhile, England’s overall run-rate at this World Cup has nudged up above seven an over for the tournament now. Nobody else is anywhere close, with Australia, India and Bangladesh all in a bunch between 6.20 and 6.24. New Zealand the only team having any kind of decent tournament while scoring below a run a ball. That will have to change as they reach their tougher games, you’d think.
1558 BST: Afghanistan 86/2 (20 overs)
I’m not saying the intensity has gone, but we just forgot to do an update for three overs while staring into space and were only roused from our slumbers because Michael Clarke started talking about chocolate sauce on the commentary. Afghanistan 86/2 after 20.
1544 BST: Afghanistan 75/2 (17 overs)
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) June 18, 2019
Meanwhile, a second six of the Afghanistan innings hit sweetly down the ground by the previously watchful Rahmat. Only 24 more needed to top England’s 25.
1540 BST: Afghanistan 66/2 (16 overs)
Maiden over from Wood, that seemed to be mainly bouncers getting ducked. I wasn’t really watching. I was working out that 9.6% of all England’s World Cup sixes were scored by Eoin Morgan today. I’m quite slow at maths.
1537 BST: Afghanistan 66/2 (15 overs)
I can’t lie, I’ve already grown bored of this innings. After the initial excitement of the at this stage fun, it has now – predictably – fallen between two stools, neither heroically bad enough to threaten the record victory margin nor outrageously good enough to make you go “well I wonder…” So it’s banters based on England’s innings for me, I’m afraid. Here’s one: 27% of the sixes England have ever hit at the World Cup have come in these five games (and they didn’t hit any against West Indies). In fact, 14% of the sixes England have ever hit at the World Cup have come today.
1530 BST: Afghanistan 57/2 (13 overs)
Four singles from Moeen’s over. That’s all I have to say about that.
1526 BST: Afghanistan 53/2 (12 overs)
Hashmatullah the new batsman for Afghanistan, in the excellent blue Puma shoes. Real shame none of the England lads have those. Good over from Wood, though. As good as an over can be in white shoes anyway.
WICKET! Gulbadin Naib c Buttler b Wood 37 (28b, 4×4, 1×6, SR: 132.14)
Gulbadin had done his job, the at-this-stage-skewering hero, and can depart with head held high. Wood strikes in his first over, giving the Afghan skipper the hurry-up with a short ball that he can only top edge high and off towards short fine-leg. Buttler makes good ground from behind the stumps and takes a smart catch on the run.
1520 BST: Afghanistan 51/1 (11 overs)
Moeen straight into the attack after the powerplay. Had his fun with the bat earlier. A more sensible start with the ball, though. Three runs off his first over.
1517 BST: Afghanistan 48/1 (10 overs)
You heroes. You absolute heroes. Three runs for a miscued pull through midwicket from the final ball of Archer’s fifth over Afghanistan end the first Powerplay two runs ahead of England. The match is saved. The World Cup is saved. The very sport of cricket itself is saved.
1512 BST: Afghanistan 44/1 (9 overs)
Gulbadin’s one-man mission to highlight the fundamental ridiculousness of at this stage comparisons is a noble one. Two more fours off Woakes’ fifth over for the Afghan skipper. I’m a happy man.
— Dave Tickner (@tickerscricket) June 18, 2019
1508 BST: Afghanistan 35/1 (8 overs)
Every chance for that 10-over ‘at this stage’ success for Afghanistan here, despite a tight over from Archer to Rahmat, who has been very much the more circumspect of this pair.
1459 BST: Afghanistan 28/1 (6 overs)
Here we go, this is the stuff. Gulbadin takes the attack to Archer, going four, six, four with shots of real authority. The first two are struck sweet and clean over the legside Eoin Morgan-style, the third pinged over mid-off.
1455 BST: Afghanistan 13/1 (5 overs)
Has Jonny Bairstow just dropped the World Cup!? Bad one, this – and not just the banter. As straightforward a first-slip catch as you could wish for, but Bairstow fumbles it and Root diving across from second can’t get hold of the loose ball.
1451 BST: There’s a delay while a man with a big hammer gives the crease a good old tw*tting. I assume he’s there in some sort of official capacity. Not just a random pitch-tw*tter. An ICC-approved pitch-tw*tter. Meanwhile, this might be the game within a game today…
Afghanistan need another 100 runs to avoid the largest ever defeat by runs in ODIs.#ENGvAFG
— Bertus de Jong (@BdJcricket) June 18, 2019
Afghanistan need to get within 290 runs.
1450 BST: Afghanistan 9/1 (4 overs)
They’re not going to do it, though, are they?
1446 BST: Afghanistan 6/1 (3 overs)
All I want from this run-chase is for Afghanistan to be ahead of England’s 46/1 at 10 overs. I think we’re too far gone now to be able to rid the world of ‘at this stage’ comparisons, but anything that highlights their utter vapid pointlessness is to be encouraged.
1442 BST: Afghanistan 4/1 (2 overs)
Don’t want to become the latest person accused of English arrogance around this World Cup, but I reckon England are on top here.
WICKET! Noor Ali Zadran b Archer 0 (6b)
Sub-optimal regardless of Afghanistan’s actual target here. Gulbadin actually starts the over with a smart drive down the ground, using Archer’s pace to ping the ball almost all the way to the fence only for Woakes to chase it down. The difference between that three and four is highlighted instantly as Noor Ali chops the next ball onto his stumps.
1435 BST: Afghanistan 1/0 (1 over)
The required rate instantly jumps above eight after a tidy start from Woakes.
1430 BST: So, it’s Gulbadin and Noor Ali to begin this run-chase. Genuinely no idea what Afghanistan should try and do here. Aim for 250 and a veneer of respectability? Go balls out for the chase and risk a full 300-run humiliation? Honestly don’t know.
1403 BST: Like they always say, take the score after 35 overs and double it. Breathtaking stuff from Eoin Morgan, who hits a record-breaking 17 sixes in an ODI innings pulling himself clear of such chancers as Gayle, Rohit and de Villiers who had previously managed 16 in an innings. Moeen Ali then helped himself to 31 off nine balls at the end as England broke their own record for most sixes in an ODI innings. They hit 25 of the bastards. It’s lucky I didn’t tip Afghanistan to score most sixes today at 3/1, or I would look an idiot.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 18, 2019
1402 BST: England 397/6 (50 overs)
No luck for Dawlat as Moeen top-edges over the keeper’s head for four. Another attempted bouncer sails over Moeen’s head and is inevitably called wide. Dawlat then commits the crime of length, and Moeen simply murders him over midwicket for yet another six. That’s the 24th of the innings, tying England’s own ODI record made against West Indies earlier in the year. And now they’ve beaten it, Moeen smearing another length ball over the midwicket boundary. Last ball, four needed for 400… but it’s just a single to deep cover. An astonishing end to that innings, 198 runs coming from the last 15 overs.
WICKET! Ben Stokes b Dawlat Zadran 2 (6b, SR: 33.33)
Fascinating to see who gets given this phase. Another wicket falls to another bit of smart bowling from Dawlat, arrowing the ball into the base of leg stump as Stokes walked across the crease.
1355 BST: England 378/5 (49 overs)
A second six for Moeen to end the over, and Rashid’s day – with the ball at least – ends with him nursing the horror-show figures of 0/110 from nine. England still eyeing 400, the lunatics. Need 22 from the final over. You wouldn’t rule it out. Rashid’s first two overs only cost him nine runs. England have taken 101 from his last seven! Had he bowled out, Mick Lewis’ all-time record of 113 would surely have gone.
1351 BST: England 370/5 (48.1 overs)
Hundred up for Rashid Khan as Moeen pumps him down the ground for six. What a day
1350 BST: England 364/5 (48 overs)
Well that’s a very good over among the nonsense. Good variations, all of them well landed by Dawlat, and it brings him the wicket of Buttler at a cost of just five runs. Given England had been scoring at 15 an over for the last seven overs, that’s very decent indeed.
WICKET! Jos Buttler c Mohammad Nabi b Dawlat Zadran 2 (2b, SR: 100.00)
England have lost three wickets for nine runs in the last seven balls. Good bowling this, actually, a back-of-the-hand slower ball drawing the miscue from Buttler.
WICKET! Eoin Morgan c Rahmat Shah b Gulbadin Naib 148 (71b, 4×4, 17×6, SR: 208.45)
The collapse is on! Morgan smashes his record-breaking 17th six but holes out a la Root to Rahmat when within sight of a landmark. A breathtaking innings of insane yet controlled power. England probably won’t get 400 now, unless Jos does… England will probably still get 400.
WICKET! Joe Root c Rahmat Shah b Gulbadin Naib 88 (82b, 5×4, 1×6, SR: 107.31)
A brilliant innings doomed to be a footnote comes to an end. Utterly selfless from Root, looking for the six rather than thinking about his own stats and holing out to long-on. Oh, the first two balls of this over were both smashed for six by Eoin Morgan. He’s now got 16 today, tying with Chris Gayle, Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers for the most ever in an ODI innings. Tidy company.
1336 BST: England 340/2 (46 overs)
Morgan smears his 14th six of a quite extraordinary innings. Moves level with Aaron Finch’s total for the tournament. Root meanwhile is closing on his own century, smearing a four over extra-cover; he’s 88 off 81 and nobody gives a sh*t.
— Nick Toovey (@tooves) June 18, 2019
1332 BST: England 323/2 (45 overs)
Utterly, utterly ridiculous. Three more sixes in the over – one of them even hit by Root! – and Rashid Khan has now conceded 96 (Ninety six) in eight (EIGHT) overs. England suddenly look on course for 400 here. Morgan now has an all-time England ODI record of 13 sixes in this innings. Another way to put those 13 sixes in context. The man sitting behind Morgan for most sixes in the tournament is Aaron Finch with 14.
1328 BST: England 301/2 (44 overs)
Another score of 300 for England. Root joining in the fun with a deft rampy sort of thing for four. It’s only the fourth four in his run-a-ball 76. England have their highest ever ODI score at Old Trafford and look a decent bet to break the record for highest all-comers ODI total on this ground, a record that has stood for very nearly two days.
1324 BST: England 293/2 (43 overs)
Fourth fastest World Cup century ever. With a dodgy back.
1323 BST: Eoin Morgan 101* (57b, 3×4, 11×6, SR: 177.19)
Eoin Morgan smashes his ninth six, straight down the ground off Rashid. He has therefore scored as many sixes today as any other England player has managed in World Cup history. And straight away there comes the 10th to move ahead of David Gower’s career total. And then an 11th six brings up an extraordinary century!
1319 BST: England 272/2 (42 overs)
Most career World Cup sixes for England:
9 – David Gower
8 – Eoin Morgan today
8 – Jos Buttler, Andrew Flintoff, Allan Lamb, Eoin Morgan not today
7 – Kevin Pietersen
1315 BST: England 269/2 (41 overs)
This is just astonishing hitting now from Morgan. Successive sixes off Nabi, one straight down the ground, one over midwicket, both absolutely enormous. The hundred partnership comes up. Root is scoring at a run a ball. Yet Morgan has 80 of them.
1311 BST: England 255/2 (40 overs)
Morgan toying with them now. Slog-sweeps Mujeeb over midwicket for another six. Rashid, the boundary sweeper, moves in front of square as a result. Morgan sweeps the next one along the ground to the precise spot Rashid had been in moments earlier. Four more, and with that Morgan has overtaken Root. England have scored 91/0 in the last 10 overs and claim the Phase Win, for mine
1308 BST: England 241/2 (39 overs)
Never mind Morgan smashing sixes, Root is switch-hitting the ball to boundary sweepers for singles.
1306 BST: Eoin Morgan 54* (36b, 2×4, 5×6, SR: 150.00)
Morgan races to a 36-ball half-century with his fifth six, another one absolutely smashed over midwicket as Nabi drops a fraction short.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 18, 2019
1259 BST: England 228/2 (37 overs)
Honestly, this might be the most Joe Root ODI innings ever played. Moves to 60 at a run a ball with one of those both-feet-in-the-air cuts he plays against the short ball. No sign of back problems as he arched himself into that one.
1253 BST: England 213/2 (36 overs)
Oh for fu… Morgan miscues an attempted pull off Rashid, but Dawlat makes a complete mess of it in the deep, running underneath the ball and having to backtrack to try and catch the ball one-handed behind him. He does not catch the ball one-handed behind him. The only slight saving grace is that his attempt palms the ball for four rather than six. Morgan takes advantage of the let off by getting hold of two pull shots properly before the over is done. These ones do both go for six. Morgan is 44 off 30, Rashid is being taken apart by the batsmen and let down by his fielders, and England are sauntering towards yet another 300-plus total. The partnership is 53. It’s been mainly Morgan.
— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) June 18, 2019
1250 BST: England 199/2 (35 overs)
Root stretching out his back ad hobbling around only makes this very Joe Root half-century even more Joe Rootish to be honest.
1244 BST: England 196/2 (34 overs)
Just hasn’t happened for Rashid today. Even with Bairstow gone, he’s still getting picked off with Morgan getting a couple of late cuts away for two and then three in this over. The England captain has raced to 25 from 20 having been 1 from 7 before that nice free-hit to get him going.
1240 BST: England 189/2 (33 overs)
A classic Root innings, followed by a classic Morgan shot as he reverse-sweeps Nabi over short third-man for four.
1237 BST: Joe Root 50* (54b, 2×4, SR: 92.59)
It’s an archetypal Joe Root ODI innings. Just two boundaries, yet reaching 50 at a strike-rate well above 90 and without a single risk being taken. Two 50s to go with two hundreds in five innings at this World Cup. Although he is now walking around slightly uncomfortably and stretching out that troublesome back of his. England don’t need another problem with a key batsman.
1236 BST: England 183/2 (32 overs)
Bit of banter between the captains as Morgan considers a quick single before being sent back by Root. Gulbadin makes to hold him back after they almost collide. Not banter now, though: Gulbadin oversteps and Morgan gratefully accepts the opportunity to get his innings up and running with a free hit. Sets himself on the back foot and then waits for a slower-ball to reach him and smashes it 86m over midwicket. In the mood now, Morgan sends the next ball high, high, high into the Manchester sky and down just the correct side of the long-on rope as far as he’s concerned.
1227 BST: England 164/2 (30 overs)
Not Jos yet. Morgan in at four as listed.
WICKET! Jonny Bairstow c&b Gulbadin Naib 90 (99b, 8×4, 3×6, SR: 90.90)
Oh, smart catch. Totally at odds with everything we’ve seen today. Clever bowling too. It’s a(n even) slower ball from Gulbadin, which catches Bairstow out. His attempted force down the ground is played too early and miscued back to the bowler, who clings on low in his follow-through. Fair to say that was very needed.
1223 BST: England 163/1 (29 overs)
Gulbadin forced to go back to Mujeeb. Gets the tidy over he needed, but only three left for him now. Rashid Khan, meanwhile, has been expensive. Bairstow obviously knows all about him and has dealt with him.
1216 BST: England 155/1 (27 overs)
Oof. That’s the shot of the day, an outrageously powerful flat six absolutely hammered straight back past Nabi before bouncing back off the sightscreen an instant later. Bairstow flying now and Afghanistan entering a world of pain. You can already imagine the Buttler Promotion Chat will be taking place in the England dressing room.
1212 BST: England 145/1 (26 overs)
Four more for Bairstow squeezing out a drive against a full delivery from Rashid and, inevitably, beating the dive from the cover sweeper. Athers on commentary reckons Afghanistan have given away “10 or 15 runs in the field already”. This is an outrageously generous assessment. The partnership goes past 100 to little fanfare; been an air of inevitability about it from the moment Root joined Bairstow in the middle. Bairstow wasn’t at his best early in the innings but it wasn’t like he was particularly troubled. Just couldn’t quite find his timing. He has now found his timing.
Jonny Bairstow's time spent keeping wicket to Rashid Khan during this year's IPL paying off today…
— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) June 18, 2019
1209 BST: England 139/1 (25 overs)
Bairstow pulls Nabi hard to the midwicket fence and is well on his way to catching up now having reached 74 off 79 after a tough start.
1206 BST: England 132/1 (24 overs)
Big over for Bairstow and England as Rashid comes back for his third. Bairstow gets hold of him over midwicket twice. The first a sighter that bounces away for four; the second given the full gun and sailing way back over the ropes.
1202 BST: England 118/1 (23 overs)
Perfect example of Afghanistan’s unacceptably poor standards in the field here as Root back-cuts Nabi. Noor Ali runs around from deep point and flicks the ball back just inside the rope to prevent the boundary. Gets back to his feet and realises nobody has come to help him out getting the ball back. Misfields are one thing, laziness another. The man in the ring at point has to be getting back to help his mate out there. It’s 30 yards. Even I can jog further than that.
1158 BST: England 112/1 (22 overs)
England won the over 11-20 phase by the way. The first 10 overs were a draw. Important data.
England batting like a team who know they're likely to win this match by 100+ runs as long as they put 250 on the board
— Chris Stocks (@StocksC_cricket) June 18, 2019
1155 BST: England 109/1 (21 overs)
One of the great things about watching Root bat is how annoyed he can get about the very slightest error. Tries to knock Rashid into a gap on the offside for a single, but instead finds the fielder. He’s livid. Like punching his bat and storming off to square-leg livid. Those are the standards.
1152 BST: England 106/1 (20 overs)
England’s 100 came up in that over thanks to a misfield at point. Apt.
1152 BST: Jonny Bairstow 52* (61 balls, 5×4, 1×6, SR: 85.24)
Not his most fluent or best innings, but he gets there in glorious style with a sweet drive through extra-cover. It’s his slowest 50 as an ODI opener, which tells you a lot about how mad his statistics are as an ODI opener.
1148 BST: England 98/1 (19 overs)
Six from Rashid’s first over. Brief moment of alarm as Bairstow slices a drive towards point but it’s perfectly safe and brings him two. Partnership reaches 50 in 55 balls.
1145 BST: Rashid Khan into the attack straight after drinks.
1142 BST: England 92/1 (18 overs)
Bairstow scratching around but still playing the occasional achingly beautiful shot among the struggle. One such here as Gulbadin is thumped down the ground for four. Run-rate creeping up as the players take drinks. England have set a solid platform; how very old-fashioned of them.
1138 BST: England 86/1 (17 overs)
Expensive over from Rahmat. Root reaches out to create a full-toss and sweep it hard through midwicket for four before manufacturing a couple of angles to find spaces on the offside and scampering twos. Root 20* off 20 balls as he literally always is.
Harsh to demote Woakes but looks like the gamble is paying off at this stage.
— Tom Brook (@TomJamesBrook) June 18, 2019
1132 BST: England 75/1 (16 overs)
It’s not been flawless from Afghanistan by any stretch, but given the tournament they’ve endured then keeping England under five an over for an extended period of time counts as a very decent result.
1125 BST: England 68/1 (14 overs)
Bairstow, who has looked low-key out of form throughout the World Cup, looking full-scale out of form today. Doesn’t relish kicking off against spin, but would surely cope better than this at his absolute best. Beaten by what is in fairness a beauty from Rahmat here, a classic leg-break that jags beats both outside edge and then off stump by a whisker. Tits to this, declares Bairstow – I’m paraphrasing – as he then thrashes one straight back down the ground and into the sightscreen.
1121 BST: England 60/1 (13 overs)
Just a single from Gulbadin’s first over, Root almost chopping one into his stumps as well. Both batsmen pulled out during the over having been distracted by some movement behind the bowler. Is it Mole again? We must be told.
1116 BST: England 59/1 (12 overs)
Spin at both ends now as Nabi comes into the attack to replace Dawlat. Afghanistan have used up six overs of Mujeeb, but they’ve been six impressively tight overs. The more conventional off-spin stylings of Nabi are more to the liking of Bairstow, who immediately clubs a slog-sweep over midwicket for four. Root then collects four in rather more artful but equally effective fashion with a back cut. Eighteen off Mujeeb’s six overs, 11 off Nabi’s first.
1107 BST: England 46/1 (10 overs)
Joe Root, averaging just 93 for the tournament, is in at number three. That Vince top-edge went so slowly because it went off the helmet as well as the bat. Afghanistan have bowled tremendously, though. England’s lowest powerplay of the tournament despite the assorted fielding disasters. England’s lowest home powerplay score since the Jos Game against Australia almost exactly a year ago.
WICKET! James Vince c Mujeeb ur Rahman b Dawlat Zadran 26 (30b, 3×4, SR: 83.87)
He’s had a couple of let-offs on the pull shot, but not this time. A top-edge from Vince loops forlornly to short fine-leg where Mujeeb takes the simplest of catches. It is, sadly a very, very James Vince innings, except without the elegance. At least the pretty 30-odds are pretty.
— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) June 18, 2019
1102 BST: England 42/0 (9 overs)
Another misfield. Costs just a single this time at short fine-leg but it scars another exemplary Mujeeb over and must be driving the bowlers mad here.
1059 BST: England 40/0 (8 overs)
Vince hits Dawlat straight down the ground for another four. This one was precisely as elegant as you’re thinking. And now two more woeful bits of fielding. First a misfield at cover allows Vince two before he top-edges a pull that should have given Nabi a simple catch coming in off the boundary. But he completely misjudges the flight and runs back towards the boundary before realising his error too late in the day. Afghanistan’s bowlers are doing a grand job, but the fielding has been disastrous. I reckon 10 runs and a wicket given away already.
1055 BST: England 32/0 (7 overs)
Bairstow bails out of a pull shot against Mujeeb as the ball sticks in the pitch. He’s bowling beautifully, and this does look a pitch that gives Afghanistan some kind of chance. It’s basically flat but what little there is in it for the bowlers is for spinners not quicks.
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) June 18, 2019
1050 BST: England 30/0 (6 overs)
Another short ball from Dawlat, and this time Bairstow gets the pull away far enough in front of square to take that boundary rider out of the question and collect four more. Absolutely no future in that length. Slight delay due to some movement behind the sightscreen. Judging by the picture we’re shown from guilt-cam, the offender was Mole from the Wind in the Willows. Enough to distract even the most focused ginger run-machine. Vince gets a boundary down the ground, but it was way less elegant than what you’re imagining. Clubbed it off a good length. Then pulls in the air but short of the man on the rope.
1047 BST: England 20/0 (5 overs)
Bairstow gets a drive away through the covers for four and then nurdles Mujeeb away for a single on the legside.
1044 BST: England 15/0 (4 overs)
Better from Dawlat. Protection out for that long-hop now, and the one Bairstow gets for hammering the ball out to that man is all England get from the over.
1039 BST: England 14/0 (3 overs)
Excellent start from Mujeeb, this. Landing his variations and keeping Bairstow honest for five balls until overpitching slightly to allow Bairstow a drive. Should still have cost one at most, but a misfield allows Bairstow and Vince to scurry through for three runs. Second misfield of the innings already, which is sub-optimal for the team already massively up against the odds.
1034 BST: England 9/0 (1.2 overs)
England’s gameplan may well involve “whacking things that aren’t spin” here. Especially deliveries like this from Dawlat, a lollipop of a short ball in the low 80s that Vince pulls dismissively off the front foot through midwicket.
1033 BST: England 4/0 (1 over)
James Vince off the mark in the World Cup with a couple of hard-run twos into the legside. Nice start from Mujeeb, though, who jags one past a slightly tentative forward defensive.
1030 BST: Spin to start, obviously. It’s Mujeeb, obviously.
1021 BST: Still annoyed about Plunkett missing out, although he was a bit poorly yesterday apparently. Morgan might have thrown us a curveball at the toss with his chat about balancing the side. Anyway, you can’t be that upset about any game of cricket having Moeen Ali in it.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 18, 2019
1014 BST: Afghanistan team. Batting order could be anything, tbh. Naib opening according to the broadcast graphic. Rahmat Shah, Noor Ali Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Gulbadin Naib(c), Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Dawlat Zadran
England: Jonny Bairstow, James Vince, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
1008 BST: Roy confirms that Vince will open today with Root back at three.
1006 BST: Jason Roy with a beautiful Harry Kane tribute “It is what it is” about his twanged hamstring in an interview with the Sky lads at the cart. He does sound very positive in fairness. Says this injury is not as bad as the one in the Caribbean that ruled him out for seven weeks. Admits what we all know that he was going for the six sixes in an over when he got out against Bangladesh. Sounds very chipper, though, which is good.
1005 BST: Afghanistan have made a whole bunch of changes. Give us a minute.
1002 BST: England have won the toss and are going to have a bat. “Used wicket, but it looks really good. Everyone here at Old Trafford has done a remarkable job,” says Morgan. Vince in for Roy, Moeen in for Liam Plunkett who remains bafflingly underappreciated in this England side.
0958 BST: Eoin Morgan is going out for the toss. Using all my detective skills to surmise that he is therefore playing today and has recovered from his back knack.
0948 BST: Such is England’s NRR superiority over Australia that any win today will take the hosts top of the table for the first time since the opening game. Full standings are here.
We do seem to have been drifting inexorably towards the obvious top four for a while already, but the next few days really are make or break for any prospect of life being breathed into this bloated, moribund group stage. If England beat Afghanistan and Sri Lanka today and Friday either side of wins for New Zealand over South Africa and Australia against Bangladesh, that really will be pretty much it. Probably need at least two of those to go against the form for things to get genuinely interesting, otherwise it’s going to be a fortnight and 18 games spent watching the established top four jockey for position ahead of the semi-finals while everyone else pretends to care about finishing fifth/seventh/not last while the TV commentators remind us four times per broadcast just what a wizard format this 10-team round-robin is.
0939 BST: This might actually be right. I mean, we’re pretty much there already:
The correct amount of teams for a word cup is 4 plus special guest Shakib
— Ganesh (@Gan84) June 18, 2019
0925 BST: The big team news today will obviously revolve around Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan. Roy we know is out with, we assume, James Vince replacing him. Would England be tempted to stick with Joe Root as opener, though? Did it rather splendidly against West Indies. Morgan was confident of being fit to play at his press conference yesterday. If he doesn’t play, you’d imagine Moeen Ali would come in as a batsman and extra spin option. If Morgan is fit, then bringing in Moeen rather than Vince to bat in the top three as Roy’s replacement and bowl some spin in conditions that should suit it would be provocative but something surely worth considering. Moeen has been in rotten nick with the bat but does have pedigree at the top of the order. Anyway, more team news plus 4/1 and whopping 45/1 best bets with Paddy Power, plus details of both teams’ current form (TL;DR – England’s is good and Afghanistan’s is bad) and assorted other bits can be found here.
0915 BST: Still. The sun’s out, so that’s a nice thing to happen, isn’t it?
0910 BST: Welcome to our live coverage of today’s game from the Cricket World Cup. It’s England, who are doing well, against Afghanistan, who are not. The story of Afghanistan’s omnishambles of a World Cup is a long and maddening one of political interference, botched selection, shambolic captaincy changes and desperate, seemingly total, loss of direction at the worst possible time.
They’ve been utterly rotten in this tournament and there’s absolutely no getting away from that fact. Their highest score of the tournament is 207, three of their defeats have been massive and the other was against Sri Lanka who are awful. They haven’t even managed to pick up a point from a washout ffs.
But it really didn’t have to be like this. At last year’s Asia Cup they spanked Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and tied with India. They qualified automatically for next year’s T20 World Cup. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating that it’s come to this on the biggest stage, for Afghanistan themselves primarily but also because of those people – let’s call them ‘tw*ts’ – who will now use their failure as warped, deceptive evidence that actually if anything 10 teams is too many for a World Cup and the format is absolutely fine.
Still, they’re playing the best team in the world today on a used pitch that might well turn a bit. We are living in the Banter Timeline, so Afghanistan should win this by 180 runs.
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