Thursday 8 December 2016

Captain Morgan's praise for Stokes and Willey

Published 01/09/2015 | 02:30

England captain Eoin Morgan speaks with teammate Ben Stokes (right) after taking the wicket of Australia's Nathan Coulter-Nile in the final over
England captain Eoin Morgan speaks with teammate Ben Stokes (right) after taking the wicket of Australia's Nathan Coulter-Nile in the final over

England captain Eoin Morgan praised Ben Stokes and David Willey for seizing responsibility at the climax of a narrow Twenty20 win over Australia.

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The pair had played just nine T20 internationals between them before taking the field at Cardiff - Willey accounting for just one of those - but did not waver when Morgan handed them death bowling duties.

With two overs remaining Australia needed 20 for victory with six wickets in hand, and Steve Smith in formidable form on 89 not out.

Three balls later Willey had the touring captain caught in the deep and when asked to defend 12 from the last six balls, Stokes sealed victory in style.

He conceded only six, took the wicket of Nathan Coulter-Nile and effected two run outs, keeping the coolest head in Cardiff.

"I hadn't earmarked Ben, before the day had started, for bowling the last over of the game," Morgan admitted.

"It was a tough one but he took on the responsibility of bowling that over really well."

Morgan (74) and Moeen Ali (72no) had provided the platform for victory, sharing a wonderful stand of 135 in just 75 balls as England posted 182 for five.

Irish Independent

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