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Morgan credits England bowlers for win over Kiwis

IANS logoIANS 07-06-2017

England dominated with both bat and ball to defeat New Zealand by 87 runs at the Cardiff Wales Stadium here on Tuesday.

Asked to bat first, England rode on half-centuries from Alex Hales, Joe Root and Jos Butler to post a formidable total of 310 runs.

The England bowlers then produced a stellar show to dismiss New Zealand for 223 runs by the 45th over.

Liam Plunkett led the way with a four-wicket haul while fellow pacers Jake Ball, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes bowled economical spells along with leg-spinner Adil Rashid to help the hosts side restrict the Kiwi run-chase.

"Guys like him (Wood) are so valuable to the team, And you can't leave any of our bowlers out. I thought they did an outstanding job. They were truly the highlight of the day.

"Our batting performance was probably par or below par. So pretty average. So I thought the bowlers today as a collective unit were brilliant, really," Morgan was quoted as saying by the official website of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson gave a tough fight to the England bowlers, producing a third-wicket partnership of 95 runs with Ross Taylor.

The duo appeared to be taking the game away from England but Morgan kept faith in his bowlers to provide breakthrough to which they delivered.

"I thought we were a bit unlucky. Throughout that partnership, I thought Kane and Ross played well, but we still sort of created half chances where a diving catch or a ball just going to hand wasn't too far away.

"And I think given the matches that we've played against South Africa recently where we've turned games around the game in Leeds where Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis got going, and we managed to take two wickets quite quickly and the Southampton game where we pulled it out of the bag out of nowhere it breeds a bit of confidence."

"With the inconsistency of the pitch, I thought if we genuinely did take one, we would take two."

Morgan also praised leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who had figures of 2/47 from his 10 overs. Pointing out that the leg-spinner has always played well against the Kiwis, Morgan said the leg-spinner's track record was key to his selection.

"He's always bowled well against New Zealand. I'm not sure why that is. But certainly his confidence is high against their side. I think having a fully fit Ben Stokes helped that decision as well," he said.

Morgan is now looking for another good performance from his side when England take on bitter rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.

"We never take any position that we've ever been in for granted. I think if we're truly going to be contenders for this tournament, we need to beat the best teams," he said.

"And Australia are one of the best teams. They always are going into a white-ball tournament. They seem to produce limited-overs cricketers at will. So to go into a game like that with no other attitude than winning is very important to us."

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