England skipper Morgan elated by ‘remarkable’ run chase
BIRMINGHAM: England captain Eoin Morgan hailed a “remarkable” run chase after his side hammered Sri Lanka by 10 wickets to win Friday’s second one-day international at Edgbaston.
Unbeaten hundreds from Jason Roy (112 not out) and Alex Hales (133 not out) took England to a target of 255 with nearly 16 overs to spare.
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Both openers made their highest ODI scores as England finished on 256 without loss to go 1-0 up in the five-match series following Tuesday’s dramatic tie at Trent Bridge.
Roy and Hales’s stand set a new England ODI partnership record, beating the 250 for the second wicket compiled by Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott against Bangladesh at Edgbaston in 2010.
This victory was also just the sixth time England had won an ODI by 10 wickets.
“I think the chase was absolutely remarkable,” Morgan told reporters after England’s first win in five ODIs following three straight defeats in South Africa and the Trent Bridge tie.
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“I’ve never experienced anything like that, where we were so in control without being reckless,” the former Ireland batsman added ahead of Sunday’s third match in Bristol.
“I thought the two boys were outstanding, very imposing. They just played brilliant cricket, very entertaining.”
Roy, who edged out Hales for the man-of-the-match award after effecting two run-outs in Sri Lanka’s innings, said: “We fed off each other quite well.
“The bowlers kept them (Sri Lanka) to a total where we didn’t feel under a huge amount of pressure going out there.”
Roy marked his maiden ODI century in England — just the second of his career — with a huge roar of delight after he drove leg-spinner Seekkugge Prasanna for six to go to three figures.
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“A lot of hard work goes into batting, and a lot of emotions,” said the 25-year-old Roy, born in South Africa but educated in England from the age of 10.
“So once those runs came to me, it all came out,” he added.
“I’m just super-happy we got over the line in such an imposing way.”
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was in no doubt of the England first-wicket duo’s quality.
“They are explosive openers and if you give them a chance or a start then that’s what they can do; they can destroy any attack,” he said.
“I thought Jason and Alex batted brilliantly to get them home.”
Roy and Hales’s hundreds followed a fine display in the field by England, who restricted Sri Lanka to a modest 254 for seven compared to the 286 for nine they posted at Trent Bridge.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid took two for 34, with fast bowler Liam Plunkett making early inroads on his way to two for 49.
“I said after Trent Bridge that we were way off with the ball,” said Morgan.
“Here, I didn’t think we did anything exceptional (here) — but we did the basics really well.
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“The other challenge we always talk about is starving the opposition of runs and building pressure by banging a length and using your bouncer.
“Today, we did that – which resulted in us taking wickets.”
Mathews said the best thing Sri Lanka could do was consign Friday’s match to the record books.
“We have to try to flush it out of the system and forget about this game as quickly as possible because we’ve got only one day to come back and play pretty well.”
Mathews was unable to bowl on Friday after suffering a hamstring strain at Trent Bridge and his medium-pace was much missed by the tourists.
The skipper made a useful 44 after winning the toss, but he accepted that Sri Lanka’s total, which featured fifties from Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal, was inadequate.
“It was a belter of a wicket but unfortunately again we kept losing wickets at crucial times and we couldn’t really get a good score for our bowlers,” said Mathews.