Jofra Archer is frightening. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
Jofra Archer is frightening. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Six and out: ‘Extreme’ Cup moment

Australia's batsmen struggled against the pace and bounce of the West Indian attack during the week so they won't have liked what they saw from Jofra Archer ahead of their clash with England later in the World Cup.

The fast bowler was steaming in during the Poms' 106-run over Bangladesh in Cardiff on Monday morning (AEST) - bowling with more heat than anyone this tournament - and his raw pace produced something spectacular.

He took the first Bangladesh wicket as the Asian side started its chase of England's 6/386 and it won't be forgotten in a hurry.

Archer hit the top of Soumya Sarkar's off stump with a peach, knocking off the bail. But more noteworthy was the ball travelling so quickly, it hit the top of the stumps and sailed over the boundary rope behind the wicketkeeper on the full.

It really was quite incredible.



According to cricket stats provider and data analytics specialist CricViz, Archer's five-over opening spell was delivered at an average pace of 145.84km/h - the fastest ever by an England player in ODIs since CricViz's ball-tracking database started in 2006.

Ninety-six per cent of Archer's balls were clocked at over 140km/h and he sent down a rocket that, at the time, was the fastest of the World Cup at 153km/h - until teammate Mark Wood surpassed him later in the innings with a thunderbolt that touched 154km/h.

Archer was frighteningly good, finishing with 3/29 from 8.5 overs. It was a heck of a way to respond from an unflattering 0/79 in England's last start loss to Pakistan.

Cricket writer for The Guardian, Ali Martin, likened Archer's effort to famous Aussie speedster Jeff Thomson almost hitting the sightscreen on the full in his pomp.

"The white Kookaburra whistled down in a manner that made batting look as uncomfortable as a pair of budgie-smugglers that have shrunk in the tumble dryer," Ali wrote. "Within this came the most eye‑catching of breakthroughs too.

"It was not quite Jeff Thomson slamming them into the sightscreen on the half-volley in 1973 - as so viscerally described by Christian Ryan in the 2012 Wisden - but it was not far off either."

Tamim Iqbal reacts after being hit by a short ball from Jofra Archer. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
Tamim Iqbal reacts after being hit by a short ball from Jofra Archer. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

The Independent's Rory Dollard said Archer "produced extreme pace without breaking sweat and forced (Jonny) Bairstow into respectful retreat - the gloveman standing closer to the boundary than the stumps".

There were already calls for Archer to be included in the first Ashes Test later this English summer and cricket legend Kevin Pietersen added more weight after witnessing the right-armer's destruction of Bangladesh.

England had lost its last two World Cup matches against Bangladesh, including the defeat that knocked it out of the 2015 tournament, but the hosts had no such trouble in blustery conditions in south Wales on Saturday as they racked up their highest score of the tournament.

Jason Roy (153), who smashed the second highest World Cup score by an England batsman, and Jonny Bairstow (51) set England on its way, before Jos Buttler (64) took his side past 300 and a late flurry from Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett ensured an imposing 6/386.

In reply, Archer struck early to remove Sarkar before a run-a-ball century from Shakib Al Hasan helped Bangladesh recover.

But the Tigers were bowled out for 280 as tournament favourite England hit back from its surprise loss to Pakistan in convincing style.

"We knew that we would have to improve in order to win a tough game against Bangladesh," England captain Eoin Morgan said.

"And I think with the bat, in particular, we were outstanding. He (Roy) is very intimidating to play against when he does score runs."

Roy and Bairstow put on the second century opening partnership of this World Cup before Bairstow fell to a fine catch by Mehidy Hasan to make it 1/128 in the 20th over.

Roy was not to be deterred, reaching his ninth ODI hundred off 92 balls, before passing 150 with three successive sixes, only to fall the very next ball chasing another big hit.

"Jonny and I have been doing pretty well together over the last few years so we've got not too much to worry about," man-of-the-match Roy said. "We'll go out there and get the job done."

Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim put on 107 for the third wicket before Mushfiqur fell six short of his 50, but Shakib's eighth ODI century kept Bangladesh in with an outside chance.

Nonetheless, what would have been a World Cup record run chase eluded Bangladesh as the innings lost momentum and England eased home.

"That total was too much; credit goes to England for the way they bat," Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said.

England now has two wins from three games and next take on the West Indies on Friday. Bangladesh has one victory from three and plays Sri Lanka on Tuesday.



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