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Eoin Morgan confident in England despite opening World Twenty20 loss

March 17, 2016 4:55 AM
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Eoin Morgan confident in England despite opening World Twenty20 loss

Chris Gayle's brilliant century thrust England into a crunch clash against South Africa but captain Eoin Morgan is sure he has the right men by his side.

England arrived in India with a young, aggressive squad and high hopes for the World Twenty20 but Gayle crushed them in their opening fixture against the West Indies, smashing 11 sixes on his way to 100 not out in Mumbai.

The 36-year-old's explosive hitting made light work of a 183-run target, with six wickets and 11 deliveries remaining, leaving England with plenty to ponder.

They have just one day before their next assignment on Friday, against a Proteas side who beat them in five consecutive white-ball matches last month.

Defeat in that match would leave Morgan's side staring at their third group stage exit in as many ICC tournaments, but he believes in his team.

"I still maintain that our young guys are the way forward, we have a lot of talent but we were competing against a very experienced side who've competed in a lot of tournaments worldwide," he said.

"If we'd have taken Gayle's wicket early I think we'd have got right into them.

"He was outstanding. You can't fault him. Everyone knows how he plays, he's played that way for a very long time, and coming into the game we knew if he did get himself in to expect that.

Morgan admitted England had veered somewhat from their ideal blueprint, making a par score rather than an intimidating one and not bowling to their optimum.

In particular he cannot have foreseen his most dangerous weapon, leg-spinner Adil Rashid, muscled out of the attack by Gayle after just two overs.

"He's probably the best that's played Adil over the last year or so and that posed another question that hasn't been asked in a while," said Morgan.

"That put the pressure back on our bowlers. But we could have been better. Our plans were pretty good, our execution was all right.

Gayle, later mentioned by coach Phil Simmons in the same breath as the great Sir Viv Richards, revelled in his second T20 international ton - and first since the curtain-raiser of the inaugural tournament in 2007.

"I was pumped today. Before I went out, Sulieman Benn said 'entertain me'," he said.

Gayle, who showed off a new dance on the pitch in support of team-mate Dwayne Bravo's new single 'Champion', planned to enjoy his night.

He tweeted a pair of frothing beer emojis and wrote: "I'm having a few ... Spk soon."

Simmons added: "Sitting talking to Chris to see how he works it out, it's just as simple as he makes it look out there.

"To see Chris destroy an attack like that, the only person in my time I'd put with him is Vivian. He's up there with Sir Viv in the way he destroys attacks."


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