English skipper Eoin Morgan was left in awe of the wonderful batting by Liam Livingstone and stated that the knock he played was as good as he has seen from the likes of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler or Moeen Ali. He also added that they might have lost the game but the chase was a huge positive for them.
After enduring a poor run in the ODI series, Pakistan pulled out their best show yet to set England an absolute humongous target of 233 in Nottingham in the first T20I. When England were reduced to 48 for 3, the chase looked near impossible but then arrived Liam Livingstone in the middle, in the mood to smash the Pakistan bowlers and a few records on the way. The 43-ball-101 run-knock which had as many as nine sixes kept England in the chase, gave them a glimmer of hope, however, given the no show from the other batters, England lost the game by 31 runs to concede a lead of 0-1 to the tourists.
Livingstone, who tonked the Pakistan bowlers to all the nooks and corners of the ground, smashed England’s fastest fifty (17 balls) and hundred (42 balls) records. It was also the eighth fastest hundred in T20 internationals of all time. Eoin Morgan was left impressed with the right-hander and stated that his knock was as good as the ones played by the likes of Roy, Buttler or Moeen in England’s shirt. He added that he will have more opportunities to prove himself.
“It was an incredible knock (from Liam Livingstone). Over the last six years as a group, our changing room has sat back and watched so many incredible knocks from Buttler, Roy, Ali. That knock today was as good as any of them. He was incredible. Moeen and Liam will be in the middle-order to try and score runs. Liam has taken full advantage of it today, opportunity will continue over the next two games. We don’t have a lot of time between now and the T20 World Cup, so it’s all about establishing the guys before the World Cup selection,” Morgan said after the game.
England had fielded a second-string side in the ODI leg of the series but the T20I series-opener marked the return of A-listers. But when it came to hunting down the target, barring Livingstone and Roy, no one crossed the 16-run mark. Despite that, Morgan reckoned that the chase was a big positive for the Three Lions.
“When you look at the chase, it was a huge positive. We were in the game till Willey was out there. It was Pakistan’s day, they bowled well and put or bowlers under pressure in the second half of their innings. There were a lot of positives to take on a ground like this which replicates Sharjah where we might play games during the World Cup. “
However, he did rue the execution especially on the bowling front, given none of the English bowlers conceded at an ER of less than 9.80. But he did admit that bowling at Trent Bridge is never easy.
“A lot of positives, execution wasn’t good as we would have liked but not our day. We have played a lot of cricket at Trent Bridge, one of the most difficult wickets to bowl in the world, it’s one of the highest run-scoring grounds for a long period of time. It’s good to be under pressure like we were today.”