DHAKA: Former England star Kevin Pietersen isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
And after England’s thumping 150-run win over Afghanistan on Tuesday, the ex-international suggested it was all but over for the remaining nine nations in the World Cup, with England all but certain to lift the trophy on July 14.
Speaking on the set of Star TV, Pietersen declared the World Cup trophy was “England’s”, posting a video onto his Instagram page.
“It’s England’s. Jos (Buttler), Jofra (Archer), captain (Eoin) Morgan, (Chris) Woakes. It’s England’s,” Peitersen said before breaking into a fit of laugher.
The cheeky caption on the social media post said “It’s England’s already! They have the trophy!”
England are now on top of the table after five matches, with four wins and remain as one of the favourites to win the tournament.
Hours earlier on Twitter, Pietersen suggested their batting line-up was one of the strongest, as he made a point of a number of players who would hurt opposition teams if someone missed out.
“If Roy misses out, Bairstow will get you! If they both miss out, Root will get you. If they all miss out then Buttler will get you,” Pietersen tweeted.
“And, Jofra will always get you!
“Give em the cup.”
Surprisingly the 277-capped international left out Eoin Morgan from his tweet, with the England captain gong on to compile a record-breaking knock.
Morgan showed no signs of the backache that threatened his involvement in the Cricket World Cup group game on Tuesday as he launched a one-day international record 17 sixes into the sellout crowd at Old Trafford.
His 148 runs propelled England to 397-6 against Afghanistan. The 17 sixes are the most by a batsman in a one-day international, beating the previous record by one shared by three others.
Morgan equalled Chris Gayle’s World Cup record of 16 sixes in 2015 for West Indies against Zimbabwe with a six over long-on to move to 142, and went one better when he flat-batted a Gulbadin Naib delivery straight back over the bowler’s head and into the rope. The TV umpire confirmed it was six, and umpire Paul Reiffel held up both arms to confirm it.
Morgan had a reprieve when he was dropped on 28 on the mid-wicket boundary, and went on to reach a century in 57 balls, the fourth fastest in World Cup history. The fastest was 50 balls in 2011 by Kevin O’Brien of Ireland against England.
Morgan came to the crease in the 30th over and departed in the 47th, having exploded the total from 164-2 to 359-4. The end total of 397-6 was England’s highest in any World Cup, the highest at this World Cup so far, and the sixth highest in all World Cups.
It was also a ground record for Old Trafford, breaking India’s two-day-old record of 336-5 against Pakistan.
The highest World Cup total is 417-6 by Australia against Afghanistan in Perth en route to the title in 2015.
BDST: 1636 HRS, JUN 19, 2019