Eoin Morgan set a new record for the most sixes hit by a single player in a One Day International (ODI) cricket match with 17 as England beat Afghanistan by 150 runs at the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.
Morgan led England with 148 runs, as the tournament hosts moved to 4-1 so far in the round-robin portion of the competition.
Going Yard, Cricket Style
It’s not always easy for those who don’t have an understanding of the sport to get much out of cricket highlights. But if there’s one thing that Americans can appreciate, it’s a batter repeatedly going deep. And on this day, Morgan had a personal home run derby off of Afghanistan’s bowlers.
For the uninitiated, a batter in cricket receives six runs for hitting the ball in the air beyond the boundary of the field – essentially the equivalent of a home run in baseball. Batters stay on the field until they record an out, which can happen if the bowler manages to hit their wicket with a bowled ball, if a hit ball is caught in the air, or if a batter is thrown out running between the wickets – again, not all that different from the ways outs are recording in baseball.
But because batters aren’t required to run unless they feel it is safe to do so, recording outs is difficult for the fielding team, allowing individuals and teams to score hundreds of runs per match. At the Cricket World Cup, teams are limited to batting for only 50 overs – periods of six balls each – which ensures games end in a single day and encourages batters to take more risks.
Record Haul Comes Despite Back Problems
That brings us back to Morgan’s accomplishment. Though the English captain was battling back spasms, he stepped up to bat in the 30th over after Jonny Bairstow made the second out of the English innings. With the home side already on 164 runs, Morgan went to work. While he was lucky to see Afghanistan’s Dawlat Zadran drop a potential out early in his run, that was about the only time he appeared to be in trouble as he teed off on every bowler sent up to face him.
“Yeah, the back feels good,” Morgan said after the match. “Never, never have I ever thought I could play a knock like that.”
Getting the worst of it was Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s star 20-year-old bowler who is considered to be one of the best bowlers in the world. Khan failed to record a wicket in nine overs bowled, allowing 110 runs and 11 sixes, including seven by Morgan, in what is considered the worst bowling performance in Cricket World Cup history.
Morgan would finally make an out in the 47th over. But by that time, he had already completed a record performance.
The 17 sixes was the most ever in an ODI innings for one player, beating out three players who had previously managed 16. England set a team record with 25 sixes as well, and the 397 runs the team scored was the most the English have ever accumulated at the World Cup.
England is hosting the Cricket World Cup along with Wales, and came in as the favorite to win the tournament. According to William Hill, the English remain the 7/4 pick to lift the trophy after their hot start, just ahead of India (15/8) and Australia (11/4).