LONDON: England cruised to a nine-wicket win over Afghanistan in their final World Cup warm-up at The Oval on Monday after a Jofra Archer-led bowling attack restricted the underdogs to 160.
Opener Jason Roy smashed an unbeaten 46-ball 89, studded with 11 fours and four sixes, and Joe Root finished on 29 not out as England chased down the total with 32.3 overs to spare.
After defeat to Australia in their previous warm-up game, Roy was pleased with his team’s all-round display ahead of Thursday’s World Cup opener against South Africa at the same venue.
“I am feeling really good. I want the tournament to start now. It was a good preparation leading into Thursday (opening World Cup match,” Roy said.
“We want to be doing this on Thursday and doing it throughout the whole tournament. The World Cup can’t come soon enough.”
After England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and opted to field, Archer and Root’s part-time off-spin delivered three wickets apiece in bowler-friendly conditions.
Barbados-born fast bowler Archer struck twice with the new ball, drawing a top edge from Hazratullah Zazai before wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmat Shah holed out to mid-on.
The wheels came off the Afghanistan innings when they lost four wickets in the space of just eight deliveries, with Hashmatullah Shahidi (19) and Najibullah Zadran (1) carelessly run out.
Captain Gulbadin Naib (14) was caught at long-on to Moeen Ali and Rashid Khan edged Root to slip for a golden duck. Root claimed his third wicket as Aftab Alam chipped straight to point.
Mohammad Nabi offered some resistance with a 42-ball 44, which included three sixes, but he was the last man out when a thick edge off Archer found Jonny Bairstow at deep third-man.
Earlier in the day, England’s medical department delivered some positive news as seamer Mark Wood was declared fit to face South Africa.
The 29-year-old Durham bowler had left the field after feeling discomfort in his left foot against Australia but scans have shown no sign of injury.