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'To do that on a World Cup stage was brilliant' - Mark Wood

ICC Cricket World Cup - England v Afghanistan - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - June 18, 2019 England's Eoin Morgan in action

England paceman Mark Wood reckoned he would normally sit in the back of the dressing room and try to relax before the bowling workload ahead.

•             England pacer Mark Wood was full of praise for skipper Eoin Morgan following his blockbuster 148 from 71 balls at Old Trafford

•             The 150-run victory for England against Afghanistan moved the hosts to the top of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup standings

England paceman Mark Wood reckoned he would normally sit in the back of the dressing room and try to relax before the bowling workload ahead.

Yet he made an exception at Old Trafford on Tuesday - and could hardly believe how worthwhile it proved with all the world record pyrotechnics he was to witness from his captain Eoin Morgan.

“It was amazing, amazing,” beamed Wood, after watching Morgan’s ODI all-time best of 17 sixes take the Afghanistan attack apart and set up England’s 150-run victory.

“I was delighted for him. Coming off his back injury scare and stuff, and not knowing how he would play or feel, I was just astounded by how well he played out there.

“A lot of the bowlers tend to sit in the back of the dressing room and try and relax but even I came out and watched that because it was great to see on such a big occasion.

“I know we’ve played like this for four years now, and there’s been some remarkable things, but to do it in a World Cup game speaks volumes about how Eoin wants the team to play and the values we’ve kept going throughout those four years.”

For once, Wood admitted the England bowlers were happy to let the batsmen hog the limelight. “It’s nice to go under the radar, I guess, a little bit. The batters can do the fireworks and we can go just go about the things we’ve been doing well. We’ve just got to keep that going now.

“I thought today, collectively, we bowled really well,” added the Durham man, who took two wickets while fellow strike bowler Jofra Archer and spinner Adil Rashid both picked up three each.

“It was difficult at times because I didn’t feel the Afghanistan batsmen were coming at us and we had to try to mix it up, get them to play a few shots. It might have leaked a few runs but all in all, it was nice to try something different and get a few wickets.”

However, Wood couldn’t keep entirely away from the limelight when one of his bouncers reared up and crashed flush into Hashmatullah Shahid’s helmet, leading to the Afghanistan batsman needing to be checked by medics before he was allowed to continue and face more shortish stuff.

“Well, I was concerned when I first hit him obviously,” he said. “It was a bit of a bad blow and then it’s out of my hands really, you have to let the medical staff do their thing. I checked he was all right himself, said ‘are you okay?’ Then I was back in the game mode.

“Morgy wanted me to fire another few down. If that’s what the captain wants, you listen to orders. Once you know he’s all right, it’s game time again.”

Told that he had split Hashmatullah’s helmet with the ferocity of his delivery, Wood grinned: “I’m bowling them quite fast ….for a change!”

©Cricket World 2019