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Morgan defends attacking intent after England's Dunedin collapse


By David Clough

Eoin Morgan could only rue the collapse that cost England a series victory against New Zealand.

England's white-ball captain is unrepentant, however, about the attacking intent which fell flat after Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root raced to 267 for one in the 38th over of the fourth one-day international in Dunedin.

The tourists promptly lost their next six wickets for 21 on the way to 335 for nine, and then had no answer to Ross Taylor's brilliance after New Zealand initially faltered to two for two in reply.

The Kiwis pulled off a five-wicket win with three balls to spare to level the series at 2-2 and set up a weekend decider in Christchurch, with Taylor unbeaten on a career-best 181 on the eve of his 34th birthday.

He outdid both Bairstow (138) and Root (102), sharing a stand of 187 with Tom Latham (71) in response to the Yorkshire pair's 190.

Morgan did not dispute that England lost the match when four of their most powerful batsmen - including him - mustered nine runs collectively as Kiwi leg-spinner Ish Sodhi (four for 58) intervened.

Asked if the collapse had been decisive, he said: "Yes, it has."

At the suggestion it was a case of over-ambition, though, he said: "I'm a big fan of over-ambition. When two guys play out of their skin... we've got to put the cream on the cake and the cherry on top."

There will be no inquest unless middle-order collapses are repeated, and certainly no recriminations.

"It's something that's not happened before, and is extremely disappointing," added Morgan.

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