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2019 in Review

Wisden’s men’s ODI innings of 2019, No.5: Eoin Morgan unleashes the beast

Eoin Morgan
by Rupin Kale 5 minute read

Eoin Morgan’s blitzkrieg against Afghanistan at the 2019 World Cup – a brutal 148 off 71 deliveries – well and truly announced the might of England’s batting in the tournament.

Eoin Morgan 148 (71)

England v Afghanistan
ICC Men’s World Cup, Match 24
June 18

As England captain Eoin Morgan wreaked havoc against Afghanistan with 17 sixes – a world record – there was a palpable shift in the mood of the home team’s fans. Suddenly, they believed. The shoulders relaxed, the chests puffed, an interesting mix of calm and exhilaration floated in the air, and the faces wore confident smiles. 

Morgan’s exploits may have come against the least fancied side in the 2019 World Cup, but the sheer brilliance of it inspired belief.

Despite England going into the tournament as favourites, and as world No.1, early optimism had been tempered by some missteps in the tournament. Fittingly, it was Eoin Morgan, the man who led England’s ODI revolution after the 2015 debacle, who helped remind just what England could do.

When the England skipper walked into the middle against Afghanistan, the hosts were already in a solid position at 164-2 in 29.5 overs, courtesy of Bairstow’s 99-ball 90. 

Morgan was quiet for the first few deliveries he faced, scoring just one run off six balls. His first six of the day came after a mistake from his Afghanistan counterpart with Gulbadin Naib overstepping in the 32nd over. Morgan jumped on the free-hit, striking it handsomely over deep midwicket – a monstrous 96m hit.

He accumulated 11 runs in his next three balls, switching gears with ease. Afghanistan tried to rein him in by introducing the star spin duo of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. The ploy seemed to work as the left-hander was kept to just 10 runs off the next 14 balls he faced. 

In fact, Rashid induced a mistake and the day could have been a lot different had Dawlat Zadran not dropped a fairly straightforward chance at deep midwicket. Where Rashid should have had a key wicket, his over read 2, 4, 6, 0, 0, 6. And Morgan didn’t put a foot wrong thereafter.

While the England captain spared no bowler, he was especially brutal against Rashid. He twice hit the leggie for three sixes in one over. The spinner recorded the worst figures in World Cup history: 9-0-110-0. This is the same bowler who recently picked up his third career hat-trick and was the top-ranked T20I bowler in the world. 

Morgan brought up his 13th ODI hundred with a six in the 43rd over, as Old Trafford erupted in thunderous applause. The innings also fuelled England’s highest total at a World Cup (397-6), the most sixes conceded by a bowler (11 by Rashid) and the most sixes hit by a side in an ODI (25). England romped to a 150-run win.

The shot

46.5, Naib to Morgan, SIX

This was a good length delivery from Naib and Morgan slammed it past the bowler for a straight, flat six. The shot was reflective of the mood the batsman had been in as he just stationed himself still and sent the ball flying straight down the ground with raw power. It wasn’t a particularly bad delivery, but the England skipper was brutal.

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