There is a famous saying that goes like ‘fortune favours the brave’ and England would certainly agree to it. Chasing a daunting 357 to go 3-0 up in the five-match series, England had their back against the wall after Alzarri Joseph’s ran riot by taking the first wickets and reducing the hosts to 181 for 5. However, Moeen Ali, fresh from his whirlwind century in the last game, and Jos Buttler launched a stunning counterattack, adding 77 runs in just 48 balls before rain ended the give. England were ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern target and ended up on the winning side by six runs.
And while England were in a precarious position during the chase, captain Eoin Morgan insisted that the home side was up as they were aware of the rain factor in the game.
“We were up against it particularly as we knew there was rain coming,” said Morgan on Wednesday (September 27). “If it started to drizzle, we were trying to gauge being one over away. If you’re 15 to 20 runs away from Duckworth-Lewis, you could sort of throw the kitchen sink at it. We lost wickets at bad stages through mistakes. At no stage were we flustered at the run rate which I don’t think we ever are.”
Morgan further heaped praise on Moeen who remained unbeaten off 48 off just 25 balls including six fours and a couple of maximums. Moeen tilted the game in England’s favour when he slammed Ashley Nurse for 19 runs including two huge sixes in the 32nd over.
“It was an extremely confident innings,” said Morgan. “If you watch the over again where he took on Ashley Nurse, the confidence with which he’s swinging the bat is fabulous. It looks wider than it normally does. When somebody’s in form like that, it’s great to watch.”
The left-handed batsman further expressed his delight over the way his team fared despite Ben Stokes’ arrest dominating the build-up to the match. Alex Hales’ involvement in the incident also meant that England were without their regular opener. However, his replacement Jason Roy set the tone for the chase with an excellent innings of 84 off just 66 balls.
“It doesn’t because we’ve always shown faith in guys we’ve gone with,” Morgan said. “Alex has been in very good form. Jason coming in has done exceptionally well on his home ground. It’s a difficult thing to do – come in for a game not sure of how many you will get from there. Jonny [Bairstow] has been in that position in the past. If Alex is available, he will come straight back in.”