Irish cricket star Eoin Morgan breaks world record for sixes as England captain hits 148 from 71 balls against Afghanistan
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Irish cricket star Eoin Morgan breaks world record for sixes as England captain hits 148 from 71 balls against Afghanistan

IRISH cricket star and England captain Eoin Morgan has broken the record for sixes in a one-day international innings with an astonishing World Cup display against Afghanistan.

The 32-year-old Dubliner hit 17 sixes as he pummeled the Afghans with 148 from just 71 balls during a riotous afternoon at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

His incredible performance also helped lift England to their highest World Cup total ever at 397-6, with the team's 25 sixes overall during the 50 overs also breaking an ODI record as the most struck in a single one-day international innings.

Yorkshire pair Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root may have also been big contributors with 90 and 88 respectively, but England's Irish captain was undoubtedly the headline act – walking off to a rapturous standing ovation after finally being dismissed when Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib took a fine low catch off his own bowl.

Morgan's historic innings is made all the more impressive by the fact that just a few days ago he limped off the field with a back spasm against the West Indies.

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It is certainly a far cry from his time starting out with the Rush Cricket Club and then later Malahide in Dublin.

Speaking before the tournament, Morgan said: "Growing up in Ireland, being such a small community, there's always a story somewhere in a town or village locally where people haven't quite made it or there's an excuse, they haven't given themselves the best shot or they found it difficult being away from home.

“If I was going to be good or make the most of my potential I wasn't going to be able to do that in Ireland.

"Being 13 or 14 years old I realised that I had to go away in order to pursue what I wanted to do, that was a sacrifice I had to make".

As a young player, the left-handed batsman made no secret of his desire to play at the highest level possible – and as Ireland lacked Test status at the time, that left few options.

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He had stated in the past that he did not see his home nation making the transition to the full format of the game, but was glad when they proved him wrong.

"They have been in the hunt to try and get Test match cricket for about a decade now and that has been justly rewarded. To get to this stage is a huge credit to them," he said.

"I certainly didn't think I'd see it during my playing career, but the run to the Super Eights in 2007 really did create a bit more popularity around the game, and attention around Irish cricket. Since then, they've really done themselves proud."

Morgan began his England career in 2009 when he was named in the squad for the ODI series against the West Indies and became skipper in 2014 after Alastair Cook's captaincy was removed by the ODI.

A decade after his international debut, the Irishman is by far the most-capped player in ODIs for England at 225 and is the only England captain to have scored more than four ODI centuries.