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Morgan vows to have England in good shape despite defeat

 

By David Clough

England's chastening seven-wicket defeat against South Africa leaves them with questions to answer - and captain Eoin Morgan hoping confidence is intact for the start of the Champions Trophy.

Dubliner Morgan and coach Trevor Bayliss delivered mixed messages on the possible inclusion of Jonny Bairstow against Bangladesh on Thursday.

The Yorkshireman once again took advantage of a rare opportunity with his third half-century in four one-day international innings to help England's partial recovery from their collapse to 20 for six in the first five overs of the third and final Royal London Series match.

Bairstow's contribution of 51 was unable to sustain a telling fightback at Lord's - where Kagiso Rabada (four for 39) and Wayne Parnell (three for 43) did all the early damage.

England were bowled out for 153 before South Africa eased to victory to reduce their series defeat to 2-1.

Morgan must try to ensure the experience does not dent his team's morale.

"I'd like to think it doesn't," he said.

"Obviously what cost us was that first hour - a lot of live, green grass on the wicket, but ultimately I thought South Africa bowled beautifully.

"They didn't give us anything to hit, and if they did we managed to nick it.

"We didn't play too aggressively so a lot of credit goes to South Africa. I thought they came back really well (after two defeats)."

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