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Morgan hails England's progress after one-day win

By Staff Reporter

Eoin Morgan regards England's six-wicket victory at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as the "biggest step forward" so far in their one-day international series against Pakistan.

England have established an unbeatable 2-1 series advantage, with just one more match still to play.

But it was the manner of their success which had England's Irish captain purring with praise. It came thanks to a fine all-round display in the field but then especially the unbroken partnership of 117 between James Taylor, who made an unbeaten 67, and back-to-form Jos Buttler.

England stumbled to 93 for four in pursuit of 208 as the Pakistan spinners began to find sharp turn, and that made starting an innings with more than 100 runs still needed a tough task for a batsman.

But Taylor and Buttler responded wonderfully well, England's wicketkeeper-batsman finding the range which has deserted him for much of the past five months and finishing not out on 49 after hitting an emphatic six over midwicket off Iftikhar Ahmed for victory with nine overs to spare.

Morgan said: "The chase was exceptional. The manner in which they played was probably the biggest step we've had forward on this tour so far.

"In previous tours, when you're presented with a challenge, you sometimes fall short to start with - and then need to make a mistake in order to learn."

The mistakes in this match were almost all instead Pakistan's - notably in a mid-innings collapse of six wickets for 29 runs which prevented them setting a more taxing target.

For Morgan there was much satisfaction at a job done so well - particularly by England's fifth-wicket pair.

"It can all of a sudden start turning square," he said. "But from ball one, the two guys were brilliant."

Belfast Telegraph


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