CWC19: England vs Afghanistan – Five Things We Learned

Afghanistan were no match for an England team powered to victory by a remarkable innings by Eoin Morgan

Few people thought that this would be close, especially as Afghanistan were already out of contention for a semi-final spot, were bottom of the ladder and winless, but, even still, a 150 run margin without even being bowled out is disgraceful. That they conceded the highest score in the tournament so far, of 397, was terrible too, especially as, early on, they had England tied down, and it looked like it might be a repeat of Bangladesh’s efforts against West Indies, but to no avail, as England went that little bit bigger and once again looked like the form team of the tournament.

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Five Things We Learned:

(1) Afghanistan are on track to finish last

They didn’t win a game in the 2015 World Cup but we had such high hopes that they would do better this time, winning 1, 2 or even 3 matches. To be fair, though, they still might, as their last 3 matches are winnable games against Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies. It’s just that they lost what should have been their first win, against Sri Lanka, and now they are on a major downward spiral. After this, it gets worse, as they have to face India. At this rate, by the time they get to their good opponents they will be so depressed they’ll lose anyway.

(2) I can make valid predictions

I keep predicting South Africa, who keep on losing, and I keep predicting against Bangladesh, who keep on winning, but at least my spot fixing game is on point, as I picked Eoin Morgan to be the highest run scorer, and, lo and behold, he put in a blinder. He’s not necessarily England’s best batsman, as they have so many, but to get 148 off 71, at better than two runs a ball in such a long innings, with as many as 17 6s, was incredible. England had a slow start but boy did they come good.

(3) The great Rashid Khan sucks?

110 runs off 9 overs with 11 6s scored off his bowling without looking like taking a wicket says more about Afghanistan’s depression than about how bad a player he is, as Rashid Khan, the world’s number 1 bowler, came in as the 6th bowler used and was terrible. No other bowler was treated with such disdain, especially by Eoin Morgan.

(4) England are the mightiest of the mighty

8 matches in a row of scoring more than 300 is a world record. They set that record in the last match. This is now the highest total in the World Cup. Sure, so Afghanistan are last placed and winless, but they still possess a formidable bowling line-up including the world’s best bowler, Rashid Khan, not that England cared. This was just domination. 397 versus 247. They weren’t even bowled out. Great batting, great bowling. What can’t they do?

(5) Something something Jofra Archer

While it’s pretty easy to bowl when you’ve got 397 to defend, Jofra Archer wasn’t taking any chances and when he ripped the stumps out from under opener Noor Ali Zadran’s feet from the second ball he bowled, the look on his face just said how unfair it was. And it is unfair. England were powerful before they got to play Jofra Archer. England would have won this match without him. This is just cheating. It’s not fair. He’s not even English. But he is good. Two top order batsmen out clean bowled, and one tailender caught behind. Best bowling figures of the match. Wasn’t even needed. Still performed well.

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