England v Australia: Alastair Cook hails Eoin Morgan display
Captain Alastair Cook praised Eoin Morgan after the batsman's innings helped England to victory over Australia in the first ODI
Alastair Cook heaped praise on Eoin Morgan after the batsman inspired England to a 15-run victory over Australia in the first one-day international of the five-match series at Lord’s on Friday.
Ian Bell helped England make a positive start following a number of rain delays, hitting 40 before experienced Australia bowler Brett Lee took the Warwickshire batsman’s wicket, with Cook and Ravi Bopara both falling shortly after.
But Morgan came to the crease and hit an impressive 89 runs off 63 balls, aided initially by Jonathan Trott and then Craig Keiswetter, with the latter posting a partnership of 83 with the Dubliner to help England finish on 275-5.
Keiswetter continued his form – but this time with the ball as he took four Australian wickets, and while captain Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade rallied to combine for 57, the tourists struggled to keep pace with the required run-rate, ending on 257-9.
“To score at a strike rate of 130 or 140 is an incredible innings,” England’s captain Cook told BBC Sport.
“We kept wickets in hand, and we all know at Lord’s you can make up time, especially with people like Eoin to come in. It worked well.
“To have wickets in hand is part of our gameplan, and the conditions didn’t allow us to do much else for the first 20 odd overs – I don’t think you could have played much differently.
“To get a good start like we did – it might have been a bit slow – meant we certainly laid the groundwork for someone like ‘Morgs’ to come in and do what he did.”
Clarke also reserved special praise for England’s man of the match and admitted Australia were made to pay for a poor batting display as the hosts extended their record to seven successive ODI victories.
“Morgan played really well, that’s for sure,” said Clarke. “He helped England get to a very good total, and it was too good for us today unfortunately.
“We probably didn’t execute our skills at the death as well as we could have. I think they took 80-odd off the last 10 overs.
“Then we lost wickets at important stages of the game, where we needed blokes to go on and make big scores.
“They outplayed us today in all facets. They batted better, didn’t lose wickets at crucial times – and their death bowling and powerplay bowling was very good.”