Cricket World Cup in full swing

England posts best World Cup score, while Afghanistan recovers from losses.

10 June 2019 | Sports

Afghanistan made a blazing start before losing four wickets for four runs and was struggling at 84-4 when light rain suspended play in the 20th over of the group game against New Zealand at Taunton.

Openers Hazratullah Zazai (34) and Noor Ali Zadran (31) plundered the opening overs after Afghanistan was sent in to bat, taking 12 from the first over and reaching 66 without loss until the New Zealanders hit back hard. Jimmy Neesham (3-15) made the opening breakthrough, having Zazai caught slicing out to Colin Munro at deep backward point to end an entertaining 28-ball innings that contained five boundaries and a giant six into the pavilion. Noor Ali gloved a short ball from Lockie Ferguson (1-9) down leg side for a simple catch three balls later. Rahmat Shah (0) and skipper Gulbadin Nabi (4) both fell to Neesham as Afghanistan slumped to 70-4 in a 20-ball span.

Afghanistan is recovering from losses to defending champion Australia and Sri Lanka, while 2015 runner-up New Zealand has opened with wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Australia captain Aaron Finch will feel much better about his team's chances against India on Sunday at the Oval if they can remove Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma quickly.

Kohli and Sharma average more than 50 against Australia.

“You can’t afford to give them too much freedom,” Finch said on Saturday. “Those first 10 or 15 balls are about making them take a risk, and early wickets will be a real key.”

Finch doesn't expect to be surprised by India, not after eight ODIs between the teams already this year. They were split 4-4. “We've done our due diligence on every bowler,” Finch said. “All the guys are as well prepared mentally and tactically as they can be to face everything we expect from them so there'll be no surprises.”

Then again, Finch admitted they thought they were well prepared for the West Indies and found themselves down 38-4 and 79-5 before eventually rallying to post a winning total. “Sometimes it's harder to play when you know what's coming,” Finch said. “We just didn't commit to our plans for long enough, and that's a lesson we need to learn.”

England

Jason Roy smashed an umpire to the ground and Bangladesh’s bowlers to all corners of Sophia Gardens in his 121-ball 153 to lead England to a tournament-high 386-6 at the Cricket World Cup on Saturday.

The explosive opening batsman posted his ninth century in one-day internationals and reached the milestone in bizarre fashion. Watching the ball dribble for four because of a misfield, Roy - jogging leisurely between the wickets - accidentally ran straight into unsuspecting West Indian umpire Joel Wilson.

A shaken Wilson took a while to get to his feet, as England's players looked on from the balcony of the team's dressing room with laughter and then in apparent concern. A doctor came onto the field to carry out a concussion test on Wilson, who was deemed OK to continue.

Roy carried on his assault on the Bangladesh attack, bringing up his 150 with three successive sixes - one going 97 meters, over the longest boundary - before attempting a fourth and miscuing Mehedi Hasan to cover. It was the second-highest World Cup score by an England batsman, falling just short of Andrew Strauss' 158 against India in 2011, and the biggest so far at this tournament.

England posted its best World Cup score and a third total in excess of 300 in this tournament.- Nampa/AFP

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