England skipper Eoin Morgan, in wake of his side’s 2-1 series win against Pakistan, described the conditions at Old Trafford as ‘more extreme than UAE’ and said that he was delighted to see his side excel in ‘worst possible conditions’. On a rank turner, England chased 155 to down Pakistan.
After run-fests in Nottingham and Leeds, England and Pakistan moved to Manchester to play the decider, and the Old Trafford wicket, remarkably, proved to be a rank-turner. Despite dropping leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, England sent down 11 overs of spin through Moeen, Livingstone and Rashid, while Pakistan also picked an extra leggie in the form of Usman Qadir. In all, an astonishing 26 of the 40 overs were bowled by the spinners, and eventually, it was England who came out on top, with Jason Roy (64) making the difference with a sizzling half-century.
England struggled in slow and low wickets in India not too long ago, and therefore, in wake of a tough win at Old Trafford on Tuesday, skipper Eoin Morgan expressed delight over his side triumphing in conditions not suiting their strength.
“It (victory) means a huge amount. The way we play, this is the worst possible conditions for us. But we have been pushing our boundaries,” Morgan said on Tuesday.
In the entire game, Hasan Ali was the only pacer to take a wicket, with no seamer barring Chris Jordan bowling their quota of 4 overs. There was bite, grip and turn, so much so that Pakistan entrusted Mohammed Hafeez with bowling 4 overs, with the veteran repaying the faith by picking 3 wickets. Morgan reckoned that even pitches in the UAE come the WT20 will not turn as much as the Old Trafford wicket did, on Tuesday.
“But even I think the ball won’t turn anywhere near as much as it did today even in the UAE as I played in the IPL last season,” Morgan said.
155 was always going to be a tricky total to chase, but the chase was all but killed by Jason Roy, who blazed a 36-ball 64, making it look like he was batting on a different wicket. Jos Buttler did not get going, but he did stick around long enough to ensure that Pakistan did not make any early inroads. Morgan credited the top-order for setting up the chase.
“The guys at the top of the order set up the chase despite Jos not having a good day.”
Man of the Match Jason Roy, meanwhile, expressed that the victory will give England a ton of confidence. Roy, who scored his first T20I fifty since February 2020, admitted that the Three Lions, in the past, have struggled in slow wickets, and claimed that winning on a tough track will boost England’s confidence as the World T20 nears.
“Just went out and had a little bit of fun. Was frustrating to get out. Was a little difficult out there and we had a specific game plan. It was pretty rewarding out there. We play on flat pitches and score billions of runs. But we have traditionally struggled on wickets which spin a bit. This win will give us a lot of confidence,” Roy said.