x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Matchwinning shot was 'up there' among Morgan's best as England level Twenty20 series

Eoin Morgan believes the matchwinning six off the final ball against India may rank among the best pressure shots of his career after the stand-in captain guided England to dramatic victory in Mumbai.

England stand-in T20 captain Eoin Morgan.
England stand-in T20 captain Eoin Morgan.

Eoin Morgan believes his matchwinning final shot against India to level their Twenty20 series may be the best one he has produced in his career.

The stand-in captain hit a six off the last ball of the match to take victory at Wankhede Stadium, with England needing two to tie the match.

And afterwards the limited-overs expert said the shot was among the best he had produced under pressure.

"It's certainly up there," he said.

"There was one against Pakistan a couple of years ago that sailed into the stands as well. But the last ball of the game, and an atmosphere like that, I don't think so."

The result means the tourists can add a 1-1 draw after two matches to their famous first Test series victory in India for almost 28 years.

Morgan led from the front with an unbeaten 49 from only 26 balls as England achieved the highest run chase in their Twenty20 history.

It seemed they had given themselves plenty to do, when India piled up 177 for eight. But openers Michael Lumb (50) and Alex Hales and then Morgan and Jos Buttler, in an unbroken stand of 32 from just 13 balls, overcame the odds for a six-wicket win.

Morgan added: "The last three or four overs, we just kept saying 'we're one big over away'. They bowled quite well, and the ball stuck in the wicket a wee bit. But we always backed ourselves to clear the ropes."

Morgan's opposite number Mahendra Singh Dhoni was partially responsible for setting such a tough target, with 38 runs off only 18 balls from number seven. He could be forgiven for thinking too, before Morgan's last clinical strike, that he and Yuvraj Singh (three for 17) had perhaps done enough.

But Dhoni said: "In cricket, you don't expect - because when you expect, you get disappointment. You have to accept it was a good shot. The bowler failed to execute what he wanted to bowl, and Eoin Morgan batted really well."

For the winning captain, the reward was elation as Morgan took charge, in Stuart Broad's injury-enforced absence, of an especially inexperienced squad, and he said: "I'm pretty impressed with how the guys held their own.

"It's disappointing not to have won the series - expectations are quite high with English cricket, which shows where we are at - but to get a draw is a good achievement. It is hugely satisfying, especially after the disappointment of losing the other day. This is something else, a great feeling."

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