Three wickets for Archer as England limit Afghanistan to 160
Eoin Morgan’s side were playing their final warm-up match before the start of the World Cup.
England rolled Afghanistan over for 160 in their final World Cup warm-up at the Oval, Jofra Archer and part-timer Joe Root taking three wickets apiece.
After defeat to Australia in their previous practice match, the tournament hosts turned in a morale-boosting performance in the field ahead of Thursday’s curtain-raiser against South Africa at the same venue.
Archer took two with the new ball and returned to end Mohammad Nabi’s fightback, with Root helping himself through the middle overs as Afghanistan collapsed to 92 for eight.
Nabi (44) ensured the last two wickets added 68, leaving the England top order with something to get their teeth into, but the innings still subsided 11.2 overs early.
Archer kickstarted the collapse with a brisk new-ball spell, drawing a top edge from Hazratullah before Rahmat Shah was cramped for room and spoon-fed a catch to mid-on.
Opener Noor Ali saw off that spell as he scrapped to 30 but paid for poor footwork when he played Ben Stokes into off stump.
With Hashmatullah chewing up dot balls at one end, former captain Asghar Afghan decided the introduction of Root’s occasional spin could not go unpunished. After missing out on a full toss Asghar tried to launch his second ball over the ropes but instead picked out Jason Roy.
The next four wickets tumbled in the space of just seven deliveries, Hashmatullah and Najibullah Zadran carelessly run out, Gulbadin Naib holing out to Moeen Ali and Rashid Khan guiding Root to slip for a golden duck. Aftab Alam also fell as Root continued his fun.
Nabi’s bullish hitting, which brought three sixes, added a sheen of resistance but he was last man out when a meaty thick edge off the returning Archer sailed to Jonny Bairstow on the ropes.
The day had started with good news from the medical department, paceman Mark Wood being passed fit for the South Africa clash and captain Eoin Morgan reclaiming his place in the team following a fractured finger.