Superb Morgan knock boosts England


Published: Sunday 7th September 2014 by The News Editor

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Stand-in captain Eoin Morgan’s stunning late blast helped England post 180 for six in the one-off Twenty20 international against India at Edgbaston.

Morgan crunched 71 from 31 balls to catapult England to a testing total after India’s spinners had put the clamps on the middle order.

England had been restricted to 99 for four with five overs left but Morgan then took charge, hitting six of his seven maximums, to expose India’s suspect death bowling.

With Ravi Bopara chipping in with a valuable unbeaten 21 from nine balls, after Alex Hales’ 40 at the top of the order, England took 81 from the final five overs.

Morgan won the toss and opted to bat in his 50th Twenty20 international, casting debutant Jason Roy into immediate action.

The NatWest T20 Blast’s topscorer this season did not take long to provide an indication of his unorthodox talent by reverse-sweeping his second ball for a boundary as England took 17 from the first over.

Hales finished it with a more conventional sweep for six, to punish India’s decision to open with the spin of Ravichandran Ashwin, and when the tall opener sent Mohit Sharma over the ropes in the next over England had fired out of the blocks.

That progress was checked by two wickets in three balls as Roy’s debut innings was cut short on eight.

He picked out Ajinkya Rahane at cover before Moeen Ali meekly pushed Mohit to the same fielder for a second-ball duck.

New man Joe Root was handed a life on eight when Ashwin dropped a top-edged pull as England managed a solid six-over powerplay of 46 for two.

With the fielding restrictions over India turned to spin straight away – getting 11 consecutive overs from their slow men – as they choked all of England’s middle order apart from Morgan.

Hales did cut debutant leg-spinner Karn Sharma for four and then slog swept Ravindra Jadeja into the stands, but exited next ball to a stunning Rahane catch running around from long-on.

That brought Morgan to the crease but he saw Root clink a slog sweep to give Karn his maiden international wicket after managing 26 from 29 balls.

Jos Buttler was also unusually subdued, hitting 10 from 15 balls, as England struggled to find their flow against the spinners.

That was, however, the cue for Morgan to take over as he hit nine of his last 16 balls for boundaries – six of them maximums.

The left-hander cleared the ropes twice in one Karn over to kick-start the onslaught before reaching his sixth Twenty20 fifty from 26 balls.

When India returned to pace for the final three overs Morgan was even more effective, dispatching Shami straight and then adding two more sixes in the penultimate over from Mohit.

Eventually he fell in the last over, caught in the deep, but Bopara’s cameo ensured a defendable total.

Published: Sunday 7th September 2014 by The News Editor

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