Cricket: Morgan has praise for England team-mate

PUBLISHED: 12:30 03 March 2018

England's Eoin Morgan in batting action (pic Joe Giddens/PA)

England's Eoin Morgan in batting action (pic Joe Giddens/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Eoin Morgan was thankful to England’s “Mr Reliable” Chris Woakes and one moment of telling fortune which helped his team close out a thrilling four-run victory over New Zealand in Wellington.

England, previously unsuccessful in all four one-day international visits to the Westpac Stadium, got the job done this time to go 2-1 up with two to play after Woakes defied home centurion Kane Williamson by defending 15 in the final over.

Williamson (112 not out) and Mitchell Santner put the Kiwis back in the see-saw contest after spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid had taken five wickets for 23 runs to reduce them to 103-6 in pursuit of 235 on an awkward surface.

The hosts benefited from a very marginal call when Santner squeezed Rashid to mid-wicket, where Jason Roy stooped to claim the low catch which would have made it 112-7, only for the third umpire to uphold the on-field ‘soft signal’ of not-out because there was no clear evidence the ball had carried.

England got their own critical break, however, when Santner was dismissed – for the first time in the series – in the unluckiest fashion of all, run out at the non-striker’s end after Woakes’ attempt to catch a straight drive from Williamson was deflected on to the stumps.

The Kiwis still needed another 36 when Santner went in the 46th over and although Williamson completed his hundred from 133 balls, he could not quite scramble the victory his near lone hand perhaps deserved.

Williamson’s opposite number Morgan was full of praise for Woakes, who kept his cool after Williamson pulled a six off the third ball of the last over.

“Woakes is Mr Reliable,” Morgan told Sky Sports. “He’s a bit of an unsung hero for us with bat and ball.”

In his post-match press conference, the England captain reflected too on the contrasting moments which first saw Santner reprieved and then later dismissed.

“You earn a little bit of luck along the way,” said Morgan. “But Woakesy was trying to catch the ball, and it’s a really unlucky way to get out.”

He sensed Roy had earlier taken a clean catch, but acknowledges the officials reached the only reasonable decision.

“On the TV, it’s not going to look out,” Morgan added. “He said he had his fingers under it, and I believe him.

“(But) there’s no other solution to it. If the umpire is uncertain he has every right to check, and (then) TV just doesn’t look out.”

Morgan agreed that Williamson and Santner appeared to be taking a fluctuating contest away from England again.

“They did – they played really well,” he said. “It was an outstanding knock from Kane, supported by Santner.”

England’s victory was all the more satisfying for Middlesex’s Morgan, because it came on a pitch which did not play to the strengths of his free-scoring team.

“We’re not known as a side that wins games in those conditions,” he said, after top scoring with 48 in England’s 234.

“We fought our way to a competitive total, (and it) was probably quite fortunate that Ben (Stokes) and I had the partnership the other day and were in a good head-space to compare wickets and make a call that it wasn’t a 270 wicket.”

With seven needed from the last three balls, Williamson thought he may just get his team home.

“Woakesy bowled a really nice over – he bowls very good ‘death’,” he said.

“(But) if we’d taken smarter options (earlier), it shouldn’t perhaps have got to that point. It’s very frustrating.

“It was just a shame we weren’t at our best, in the middle with our partnerships – (and then) we fell at the last hurdle.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News


Sarries record an 24-11 victory over London rivals in Aviva Premiership at London Stadium


Gareth Southgate was pleased to see his England team playing with a smile as World Cup preparations continued with a deserved win in Holland.


Maro Itoje has received staunch backing from Saracens in response to Sir Clive Woodward’s claim the England lock is “out on his feet”.

Yesterday, 22:23

Gareth Southgate’s men capped a promising display with a deserved victory as an experimental England side secured victory thanks to Jesse Lingard’s first international goal.

Yesterday, 18:00

Sarries take game to east London as they look to get back to winning ways in league

Yesterday, 15:40

Arsenal fans can celebrate after midfielder Leah Williamson signed a long-term contract with the club.

Yesterday, 14:53

International breaks are rarely welcomed with open arms by fans who miss their Arsenal fix – but for football lovers this week is serving up some tasty ties with 14 players from the club set to be amongst the action. Find out more with Rosie Tudball’s comprehensive round-up.


Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Toni Krok, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has set up a charity to help people living with the condition and their families adjust to the challenges it brings.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now