Eoin Morgan keeps a diary that has charted his England team’s progression from the abject lows of the 2015 World Cup to today’s headier times. “It reminds me of how bad things were and how good things are now,” he says.

So what about the entry for Tuesday, June 18, 2019? How about something like this? “Dear diary, we were three runs away from scoring 400, scored more sixes than any team has ever done in an ODI international (25), blasted one of the world’s best ODI bowlers, beat Afghanistan by 150 runs, went back to the top of the World Cup table….oh, and my back wasn’t playing up and I broke a world record!”

Yes, a red-letter day for the England captain. Seventeen sixes blazed off his bat in a spellbinding innings of 148, which included, over the latter part of his 71-ball spell, perhaps the most extraordinary spell of batting carnage ever witnessed at the ICC Men’s World Cup.

Those 17 maximums - eight smashed off his last 16 balls that saw him plunder 60 - were one more than the ODI record shared by three master blasters, AB De Villiers, Rohit Sharma and Chris Gayle, who had hammered his 16 in the last World Cup against Zimbabwe.

Morgan might have been tempted to look back to his diary entry for March 9, 2015 penned in Adelaide after the defeat by Bangladesh that ended England’s wretched World Cup campaign and which included a three-ball duck from the captain.

That was the lowest of the low for him, a day he described as “utterly humiliating”, yet once the director of cricket Andrew Strauss had backed him to remain as captain, it was effectively also the day that helped cement in his mind the idea that root-and-branch (or should that be Root-and-branch) reform was required to transform his England side from makeweights to monsters.

And the remarkable improvements over the past four years that Morgan has overseen seemed, in some strange way, to have been epitomised with the savagery that he led at Old Trafford.

For all the hallmarks of captain Morgan’s trailblazers were there; he had wanted to build a team full of “guys with aggression”, guys who would be coming into their prime in 2019, guys who were not afraid to fail but would always dare to dare.

Here was a fixture that, in previous calamitous World Cups, may have been a ready-made banana skin for England. Ireland 2011, Bangladesh 2015, Afghanistan 2019? After all, destroyer-in-chief Jason Roy was injured and, until he appeared for the toss, nobody could be quite sure Morgan would even be fit to play after the back spasm that forced him off in the win against West Indies.

Yet the 2019 England model was not discombobulated one iota by the injury worries. Jonny Bairstow played the bullying Roy role with aplomb, cracking eight fours and three sixes in his 90, while Joe Root again provided what Morgan calls the glue.

Some glue this. Super-glue, you’d say. Root has this extraordinary capacity to just keep ticking the score along almost invisibly and with barely a memorable stroke in anger so that when you look up, you can’t quite believe that, as he did here, he’s snaffled 88 off 82 balls. Yes, a quicker run rate even than Bairstow.

Root, who hit just one of the ODI record 25 sixes struck, has now accumulated 367 runs in the tournament, more than anyone except than Bangladesh’s superb all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, and those runs have been accumulated with the risk-free skill and swiftness that enable others to light the fireworks.

Headed by the captain himself this time. The neutrals might have felt some sympathy for poor old Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s cricketing icon, whose usually dangerous, zipped leggies were mauled for a record 11 sixes, but Morgan was brutally unforgiving.

It might have been so different had Dawlat Zadran not made the most horrendous hash of trying to catch him on the midwicket boundary off Rashid’s bowling when he was on 28.

Seven Morgan sixes later, the confidence of the Afghans’ marquee player was shot. Fortunately for him, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, the day’s honoured guest, had left Old Trafford by then.

Yet what a show Morgan put on. Eight sixes deposited in the region between backward square and midwicket from anything fractionally short, three more clubbed over long on, four straight beauties - one so towering it hit the edge of press box roof - and a couple more over long off. Quite unforgettable. One for the diary all right…