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England will not give up after sorry Aussie loss, vows Morgan

 

Ton up: Australia’s Aaron Finch celebrates his century against England at Lord’s yesterday
Ton up: Australia’s Aaron Finch celebrates his century against England at Lord’s yesterday

By Ben Burrows

Eoin Morgan has admitted confidence in the England dressing room has "taken a hit" after the chastening defeat to Australia left them staring at an early exit from the World Cup.

The hosts slumped to a second successive loss as Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc ripped through the top order to secure a comfortable 64-run win at Lord's.

The result, coming just three days after the shock reverse against Sri Lanka at Headingley, leaves England's semi-final hopes hanging in the balance with matches against tournament heavyweights India and New Zealand to come.

Morgan's side could well have to win both of those to progress, with the skipper vowing to "lead from the front" to help his team make the final four.

"I think it will take a little bit of a hit, but not across the changing room," he admitted.

"We go back to what we do well and we'll still strive to do that in Sunday's game (against India at Edgbaston).

"Ideally I'd like to lead from the front. The majority of captains have success when they lead from the front.

"So contributions in the next two games from me might have an impact in the changing room. So hopefully I can make a difference."

Behrendorff claimed a maiden ODI five-wicket haul on his Lord's debut as England crumbled to a third defeat in seven round-robin matches.

Ben Stokes hit a battling 89 while dealing with tightness in his calves, but injured Jason Roy's stand-in James Vince failed again with a duck, with Morgan, Joe Root and Moeen Ali also failing to reach double figures.

Morgan admits his underperforming side have gone away from their "batting mantra" over the last two matches.

"Everything is in our control, and we just need to produce performances worthy of winning either one or the next two games," he added.

"We've struggled with the basics of what we call our batting mantra, showing intent, building partnerships and doing it in our own way.

"We haven't done those for long enough periods of games. Either chasing down 230 or 280, that's disappointing. Our batting mantra is always evolving - the way we've played it's evolved quite a lot.

"I thought the way we played against Afghanistan in the first 15 overs, probably in 2015 and 2016 would not have happened."

England, the World No.1 side in the 50-over format, had beaten Australia in 10 of their last 11 one-day internationals before yesterday's comprehensive loss, leaving Morgan chastened but upbeat.

England could wind up facing Australia again in the knockout stages, but Morgan rejected suggestions their old foes now have a psychological edge.

Asked if 29 years without a World Cup win over Australia plays on England minds, Morgan said: "No, because I've only played against them in two World Cups and I'm 32-years-old."

Morgan conceded England have to get to grips with trickier pitches than they would like.

Asked if he had been surprised by the pitches, Morgan said: "Not so much with the weather that we've had with the last week or so. That's been a challenge, there was a lot of rain last night, the wicket this morning was soft.

"Whether it's today, tomorrow, next week, during the semi-finals, wickets will be slow, low, they do wear. That's the nature of ICC events."

Behrendorff insisted England remain favourites despite their hefty loss.

"The competition's still very open, England are probably still firm favourites being the home country," said Behrendorff.

Scoreboard

ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA (Lord's)

Australia Innings

A.J. Finch c Woakes b Archer 100

D.A. Warner c Root b Ali 53

U.T. Khawaja b Stokes 23

S.P.D. Smith c Archer b Woakes 38

G.J. Maxwell c Buttler b Wood 12

M.P. Stoinis run out (Rashid) 8

A.T. Carey not out 38

P.J. Cummins c Buttler b Woakes 1

M.A. Starc not out 4

Extras 4w, 4lb 8

Total (50 overs, 7 wkts) 285

Did not bat: J.P. Behrendorff, N.M. Lyon

Fall: 1-123 2-173 3-185 4-213 5-228 6- 250 7-259

Bowling: Woakes 10 0 46 2; Archer 9 0 56 1; Wood 9 0 59 1; Stokes 6 0 29 1 ; Ali 6 0 42 1; Rashid 10 0 49 0.

England Innings

J M Vince b Behrendorff 0

J M Bairstow c Cummins b B'ndorff 27

J E Root lbw b Starc 8

E J G Morgan c Cummins b Starc 4

B A Stokes b Starc 89

J C Buttler c Khawaja b Stoinis 25

C R Woakes c Finch b Behrendorff 26

M M Ali c Carey b Behrendorff 6

A U Rashid c Stoinis b Starc 25

J C Archer c Warner b Behrendorff1

M A Wood not out 1

Extras b1 lb5 w3 9

Total (44.4 overs) 221

Fall: 1-0 2-15 3-26 4-53 5-124 6-177 7-189 8-202 9-211

Bowling: Behrendorff 10 0 44 5; Starc 8.4 1 43 4; Cummins 8 1 41 0; Lyon 9 0 43 0; Stoinis 7 0 29 1; Maxwell 2 0 15 0

Australia won by 64 runs

What England have to do to stay in the World Cup

England's defeat to Australia leaves their World Cup semi-final hopes under threat. Here is the state of play:

With eight points from seven games, England occupy the fourth and final qualifying place, but are only a point ahead of fifth-placed Bangladesh. Sri Lanka and Pakistan, respectively two and three points behind, each have a game in hand.

Australia and New Zealand are four and three points clear of England respectively, while India, one point ahead, have two games in hand, leaving limited hope of England catching any of those three teams.

Wins in their final two group games would still guarantee England's progress, though they face India and New Zealand. Sri Lanka would be able to match their 12-point total but would have only five wins to England's six - the first tie-breaker, ahead of run rate.

One win and one defeat - or a pair of no-results - would leave England on 10 points and vulnerable to any of the three teams behind them, should Bangladesh win their last two games or Sri Lanka or Pakistan their remaining three.

Defeats to both India and the Black Caps would almost certainly see England eliminated. To progress they would need Bangladesh to lose both games, or earn one point at most, with Sri Lanka also winning no more than once. However, one of Bangladesh's games is against Pakistan, who would need only that win and one more - perhaps against Afghanistan - to overtake England.

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