IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Morgan saves England with brilliant hundred


morganEoin Morgan hit his first hundred for England as they overcame a major challenge from Bangladesh to secure a nerve-jangling two-wicket victory with seven balls to spare and seal the series in Mirpur. For Bangladesh it means their wait for success over England continues and their inability to close out matches came back to haunt them as Morgan’s ultra-cool approach proved too much.

While England’s lower order lost their head with pressure building Morgan remained completely focused on his task, barely acknowledging the smattering of applause for his hundred which made him the first player to score centuries for two countries after he began his career with Ireland. When Graeme Swann missed a wild mow at Shakib Al Hasan, England needed 32 off 26 balls with debutant James Tredwell the other batsman at the crease and only an injured Stuart Broad to come.

That equation came down to 25 from 17 balls and to Morgan’s advantage they were inside the Powerplay overs. England had delayed taking their option until the end and, for a while, it appeared it may be wasted but in the final result the restrictions proved vital.

Morgan pierced the field with precision, reverse sweeping Abdur Razzak to relieve the pressure in the 48th over. With 16 needed from the last two overs he didn’t waste any time, making use of the extra pace from Shafiul Islam. He calmly hit two full tosses for four on either side of the wicket before, as he did against Pakistan in Dubai, sealing victory with a six over deep square-leg.

Morgan could finally celebrate his efforts and was cheered off by his team-mates as England maintained their unbeaten record against the hosts - but this one was a close call. And indeed, it was fortunate that Morgan was around to the seal the game as he had a nervous start to his innings and survived two very strong leg before shouts against Mahmudullah. The first, when he had made just 7, was hazardously close, and both decisions could easily have gone against him.

England faced early problems when Craig Kieswetter was caught at slip in the first over and Kevin Pietersen’s problems against left-arm spin continued. When Paul Collingwood was also leg before, Morgan entered at 68 for 3 and was happy to support the free-flowing Alastair Cook by rotating the strike at the beginning of his innings.

He began to break free once Cook fell for 61-ball 60 - to a juggling catch by Mushfiqur Rahim - realising that he was the one to carry on the momentum that had been built. His role was made all the more important by Prior’s shaky start against Razzak and Shakib.

After seeing off the left-arm spin threat, Morgan pulled Shafiul handsomely over square leg and Prior started to get going with a pressure-relieving reverse sweep off Naeem Islam. The pair added three more boundaries to put England firmly into the ascendancy before Razzak returned and Prior played half-forward to an arm ball to be pinned lbw, sparking a mini-collapse which gave Bangladesh hope

Luke Wright worked the ball around for a couple of overs before attempting an ungainly slog, and Tim Bresnan lasted only three balls before he fell lbw to Mahmudullah playing another poor sweep. Shakib then struck again in his final over, deceiving an advancing Swann with a flighted delivery to clatter the stumps.

But with England seemingly in disarray Morgan marched on, serenely indifferent to the carnage with an innings of controlled aggression. With Shakib and Razzak - who shared six wickets between them - bowled out, Bangladesh’s captain turned to the pace of Shafiul but will be left ruing his decision after Morgan closed down the game with three boundaries in five balls.

Bangladesh’s total of 260 for 6 - their highest in one-day internationals against England - was largely due to the efforts of Rahim with a superbly-paced 76 and Imrul Kayes’s rather more sedate 63. They added 90 for the third wicket to steady the innings after England had struck twice in quick succession, removing Tamim Iqbal, the star of the opening match with 125, and Aftab Ahmed in consecutive overs.

Gaining in confidence as their partnership progressed, they took Bangladesh to 146 before Kayes fell to a fine, tumbling catch by Collingwood in the covers. Rahim went to his fifty, changing gears with a succession of well-placed boundaries to take the score past 200, before he misread a slower ball from Bresnan to be caught at mid on.

A late flurry from Naeem and debutant Suhrawadi Shuvo - who closed the innings in style with a six and a four in the final over - boosted the total to competitive heights, but Morgan’s cool assurance ultimately proved to be the difference between the teams today.
Source:Cricket News

Image Source: Cricinfo

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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