Of course the headlines were dominated by Eoin Morgan. His innings, variously described as "phenomenal", "ridiculous" and "astounding" by his team-mates clearly stole the show in Manchester on Tuesday. This England ODI team have produced several remarkable performances over the last four years; this was up there with the best of them.

But just because few people leave the Louvre talking about the foundations of the building does not mean these things are not important. And there were other performances in Manchester that will have encouraged England as they move into the final four matches of their qualifying campaign.

The batting of Joe Root is one such example. He managed only one six, fell 12 short of a century and had to be content with a strike-rate of 107.31 - that's more than 100 fewer than Morgan's - against Afghanistan. On an extraordinary day, it was a performance that barely gained a mention in match reports.

But it was a masterful innings. And it sustained a run of form that saw Root rise to second on the competition's run-scoring table - only Shakib Al Hasan has more - with two centuries, two half-centuries and an innings of 21 from his five matches to date.

More importantly, it provided the platform that allowed England to accelerate so dramatically in their final 15 overs. On a wicket that started just a little damp and therefore provided some help for the bowlers, Root (and the equally efficient Jonny Bairstow) ensured England negotiated that tricky period to ensure there were wickets in hand for a final attack that realised 198 from the final 15 overs and 125 from the final eight. Not only that, Root kept the scoreboard ticking over - he scored 43 in singles - ensuring Morgan was given as much strike as possible. Root's innings enabled Morgan's. Or at least assisted it. Just as his century in Nottingham helped Jos Buttler to make a quicker century at the other end.

But it's not the glamorous role. It's the straight foil to Morgan's comedy genius, or the friend who does the washing up after a party. It's valuable and it's appreciated, but it's not what the spectators go home talking about. And, as he reflected on the game, Root admitted it can hard for him - a star used to top billing as he is - to accept his part in a supporting role.

"It can be difficult for me," Root said. "You look at the scoreboard and see someone is going like that and think I have to try and get involved.

"But you have to weigh it up and see what's best for the team. On that wicket it was quite hard starting; especially teeing off from ball one. Morgs made a very good point out there that it's always easier for the two guys that are in, especially on a surface like that. So it was important that we took it deep. That was a reason we managed to get as many as we did.

Watch on Hotstar (India only): England's record 25 sixes in the innings

"I think one of the reasons Morgs managed to score so quickly is I managed to give him so much strike. The reason I felt like I batted for the whole innings and only ended up on 88 is because I didn't have that much strike. Towards the back end, if someone is going like that, it's exactly what you want. It wasn't that I was chewing up balls or wasting time.

"If you're batting with someone and you're putting them under pressure because they feel like you should be playing in a certain manner and you're not, then that's not beneficial to the team. If you are all on the same page and are very clear about how you're going to approach things, that's when it makes life a lot easier. That's one of the reasons why, over the last couple of years, we have managed that in 50-over cricket: there's a really good understanding of how we operate as a group."

When Root did fall - caught at long-on trying to heave a six when some batsmen may have nudged their way to a century - it was noticeable that both Buttler and Stokes struggled. But Root knew, with such men to follow, that he could afford to play high-risk strokes. He accepts his role because he knows he doesn't have the big shots of his colleagues and he knows it is best for the team.

As it was, Moeen Ali was the man to finish the England innings with a bang. While we have become used to his miserly bowling, he has struggled to rediscover the batting form he showed in the IPL. So the nine-ball 31 he smashed towards the end of the England innings will have given him a little more confidence going into the second half of the tournament. Not so long ago, he might have been considered as an alternative opening batsman for Jason Roy - he has two ODI centuries in that position, after all - which would allow space for two spinners and five seamers. That is not on the cards at present, but if Moeen can find some form, it gives the battling line-up a daunting depth.

There was good news, too, on Liam Plunkett. While the team management insist he could have played on Tuesday, he had been ill on Monday and was quarantined away from the other players until mid-way through the game. He is now said to be fully recovered and available for selection on Friday.

England will go into that game - against a Sri Lanka side in transition - as heavy favourites. Increasingly, they are looking comfortable with that tag, though they know tougher foes lie ahead in the coming days. If they win on Friday, however, they will probably need to win only one of their final three group matches to ensure their place in the semi-finals. Despite the concerns over Roy's on-going involvement, they are in a good position at this stage of the tournament.