Eoin Morgan Hails Bowlers' "Belief" After Last-Ball Win Against Australia
England's bowlers came back strong to lead them to victory after Australia's 98-run opening partnership.
- Eoin Morgan praised the England bowlers after beating Australia
- England won the first T20I by just two runs
- The bowlers pulled off a comeback after Australia's 98-run opening stand
England skipper Eoin Morgan hailed the bowling unit of the side and especially spinner Adil Rashid, who clinched two crucial wickets in the same over, to hand a two-run win in the first T20I against Australia at Ageas Bowl. The visitors required just 39 runs from the last six overs with nine wickets in hand but the late comeback from the English bowlers provided a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. In the last over, Australia required 15-run to win but they could only score 12 runs off Tom Curran.
Chasing 163, Australia had a brilliant start as skipper Aaron Finch and David Warner added 98 runs in 11 overs before the former was caught at mid-off off Jofra Archer.
The momentum shifted in England's favour in the 15th over, which was bowled by Rashid. He departed Steve Smith (18) and then dismissed Glenn Maxwell (1) four balls later. He returned with the figures of 2-29 in his four overs.
"Some of our pace bowlers and Adil have posed that threat, making it particularly difficult for people coming in and facing them straight away. I think after Moeen's over, things started to turn for us. We got the ball reverse-swinging a little bit, but again, creating that opportunity with Adil getting Maxwell and Smith created that opportunity," ESPNcricinfo quoted Morgan as saying.
"I thought we might end up running out of our best bowlers earlier, but they seemed to continue to take risks, particularly against Adil and then Jof (Jofra Archer) came back earlier as a consequence of that," he added.
Jofra Archer and Mark Wood gained England another two quick wickets as Warner (58) and Alex Carey (1) were both clean bowled to complete collapse of four wickets for nine runs, with the visitors still needing 30 from 21 balls.
The skipper lauded the bowlers' "belief'" of backing their strength at the crucial phase of the game.
"I'm delighted the guys showed belief and courage to do something to take wickets, and that was displayed a lot in the last six overs when we held our length a lot because it was the hardest to hit," Morgan said.
"Over two years ago we would have gone to bowling yorkers or slower balls which would have brought Australia back into the game. It was great that we stuck to our guns," he added.
The second T20I of the three-match series will be played on Sunday, September 6.