For a fleeting hour or so on Tuesday afternoon, it felt like England captain Eoin Morgan would never stop depositing Afghanistan bowlers into the stands.
His record-breaking 17 maximums lead England to a mammoth 398, which truthfully the Afghans never threatened in reply.
After picking up their fourth win of the tournament with some ease, Morgan’s men must now turn their attention to Sri Lanka, whose tournament has been severely disrupted by rain.
Our cricket betting expert previews the contest and give you the best bets ahead of the match
The captain’s magnificent 148 came off just 71 deliveries. He hit 21 boundaries in total, with his final 100 runs coming off just 36 balls as the Irish-born left-hander let loose.
Most sixes in a World Cup innings by one player ✅
Most sixes in a single ODI game ✅
Fourth fastest World Cup century ✅
Fastest century at #CWC19✅#EoinMorgan = Pure class.#ENGvAFG pic.twitter.com/GChwbizjHs
— GrosvenorSport (@GrosvenorSport) June 18, 2019
So far removed is this current England side from that embarrassed by Bangladesh in 2015 that Morgan himself hit just one fewer six yesterday than the whole squad managed in that entire tournament.
It won’t just be his own form that will please the England skipper. All of his main batsman have been in the runs during the tournament, with Joe Root falling just short of a third World Cup hundred yesterday. Jos Buttler and Jason Roy have also scored centuries, with Jonny Bairstow contributing two fifties thus far.
Frankly any one of them could be good value for highest run scorer, but I’m going down the Joe Root route. He already has two superb hundreds in the tournament thus far, as well as 88 against Afghanistan and 51 against South Africa. He may be the least destructive of England’s batsmen, but he’s by far the most consistent. You can get him at around 4/1 to be the leading scorer in the match.
Sorry Sri Lankans
This Sri Lankan team very much feels like a side still in transition following high-profile retirements. Their batting line-up feels extremely light without stalwarts Kumar Sangakarra, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene.
In a tournament where most teams are setting their sights on 350, Sri Lanka have yet to make 250. With two defeats and two games curtailed due to the whether to go with their single victory, their hopes of making the last four hangs by the thinnest of threads.
Only perhaps Dimuth Karunaratne has emerged with any tangible credit, with 97 against Australia and 52 against New Zealand. Kusal Perera also has two fifties to his name but could be said to be guilty of not cashing in on his opportunities. Karunaratne could be the man to lead Sri Lanka in this game, and is available at around 15/8 to score a another fifty at Grosvenorsport.com. Perera to score over 28.5 runs is available at 17/20.
England should have way too much for Sri Lanka. The pace in their bowling attack and their destructive, in-form batting line-up should give them more than enough to leave Headingley with a final four place all but secure.
After their brutal batting against Afghanistan, England to hit the most match sixes should be a safe bet at 4/9.
Adil Rashid delivered his best performance with the ball against Afghanistan and he’s available at around 11/10 to get more than 1.5 wickets in the match.