England reach super eight
Luke Wright's unbeaten 99 in 55 balls helped holders England crush Afghanistan by 116 runs in their Group A opener at the Twenty20 World Cup yesterday.
England's victory means they will advance to the Super Eight stage along with group rivals India because both have defeated rank outsiders Afghanistan.
The defending champions amassed 196 for five after being put in to bat, Wright recording his highest Twenty20 score for his country after smashing six sixes and eight fours.
Left-arm paceman Shapoor Zadran bowled opener Craig Kieswetter for a duck but Wright, going in at number three, then shared a stand of 69 for the second wicket with Alex Hales (31).
The Sussex all-rounder also put on 72 for the third wicket with Eoin Morgan (27) as England collected 122 runs in the second half of their innings. Wright narrowly missed out on his century when he could only manage two runs off the final ball.
Afghanistan, in reply, were bowled out for 80 in 17.2 overs with only Gulbodin Naib (44) reaching double figures.
The Afghanis slumped to 26 for eight after nine overs but Naib gave their total a respectable look.
Samit Patel, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Jade Dernbach all picked up two wickets for England.
Scoreboard England v Aghanistan England Inns C Kieswetter b Shapoor Zadran 0 A Hales run out 31 L Wright not out 99 E Morgan c Nawroz Mangal b Izatullah Dawlatzai 27 J Buttler lbw b Izatullah Dawlatzai 15 J Bairstow c Karim Sadiq b Dawlat Zadran 12 S Patel not out 0 EXTRAS: (B4, LB2, W3, NB3) 12 TOTAL: (for five wickets; 20 overs) 196 Did not bat: S. Broad, G. Swann, S. Finn, J. Dernbach Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-69 3-141 4-159 5-194 BOWLING: Shapoor Zadran 3-1-24-1, Dawlat Zadran 4-0-22-1, Izatullah Dawlatzai 3-0-56-2 (3nb), Samiullah Shenwari 4-0-33-0, Karim Sadiq 2-0-9-0, Mohammad Nabi 4-0-46-0 (2w) Afghanistan Inns M Shahzad c Broad b Finn 1 N Mangal c & b Broad 8 Shafiqullah c sub b Dernbach 0 K Sadiq run out 5 A Stanikzai c Bairstow b Broad 4 M Nabi b Patel 1 S Shenwari c Finn b Swann 2 G Naib c Morgan b Dernbach 44 D Zadran stpd wkpr Kieswetter b Patel 0 S Zadran lbw b Swann 9 I Dawlatzai not out 0 EXTRAS: (LB1, W5) 6 Total (all out; 17.2 overs) 80 Fall of wickets: 1-2 2-2 3-14 4-22 5-22 6-25 7-26 8-26 9-70 BOWLING: S. Finn 4-0-24-1 (4w), J. Dernbach 2.2-0-16-2, S. Broad 3-1-10-2, S. Patel 3-0-6-2, G. Swann 4-2-22-2, L. Wright 1-0-1-0 (1w) Result: England won by 116 runs