England skipper Eoin Morgan confessed to a feeling of “devastation” after losing the semi-final clash at the hands of New Zealand in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
England had a dream start with the ball with Chris Woakes dismissing Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson early, and Liam Livingstone’s two for 22 helping put the brakes on further.
But the ship was steadied by Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway, who added 82 for the third wicket before Jimmy Neesham smashed 27 from 11 to turn the game in Kiwis’ favour.
“Yeah, we’re devastated. To be on the wrong side of a close game is not easy to take. I thought we fought unbelievably well today on a wicket that didn’t necessarily suit our batting, but we managed to post in and around a par score. We were brilliant with the ball,” said Morgan in a virtual press conference as per ICC.
“We were right in the game probably until Jimmy Neesham came to the wicket, if not ahead of the game. I think throughout those innings everybody struggled to clear the ropes on both sides, and I think that was just the nature of the pitch.
“So yeah, you have to take your hat off to him. He played really well,” Morgan added.
England’s preparations were disrupted by injuries to Tymal Mills and Jason Roy but Morgan refused to use that as an excuse for his side’s defeat.
“I don’t think you can put a measure on missing a player. The 11 guys that took the field today gave absolutely everything. I’m extremely proud of the performance that they put in,” said Morgan.
“When you play really well, it doesn’t always guarantee that you win games. Unfortunately, we found ourselves on the wrong side of a really tight game today,” he added.
Morgan also said Neesham made hitting on the Dubai wicket looked easy as earlier the ball “wasn’t coming on to the bat”.
“I think it was a very closely fought game right throughout. I thought Jimmy Neesham was probably the only guy that came out and was showing the ability to strike the ball cleanly from ball one,” said Morgan.
“I think when you look at particularly our innings, our hitting ability within our squad is quite strong, and the indication that the guys didn’t feel like they could clear the ropes due to the nature of the pitch was a good indication that it wasn’t coming on to the bat that well. I think that continued throughout the Black Caps’ innings until he came to the crease,” he signed off. (ANI)