Eoin Morgan relieved to put aside distractions in ODI triumph vs West Indies
Eoin Morgan-led England sealed an ODI series win over West Indies, courtesy of a DLS success at The Oval in the fourth match of a five-match contest.
Eoin Morgan was glad to put off-field distractions to one side and help England secure a one-day international series over West Indies on Wednesday.
The hosts recorded a six-run victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method to move 3-0 ahead after four matches of the five-game series, despite Windies batsman Evin Lewis’ heroic 176.
England were 258-5 chasing 357 to win when rain came in the 36th over to halt play at The Oval on a day when the nation’s Ashes squad was announced, yet talk was dominated by the absence of Ben Stokes and Alex Hales after an incident that saw the former arrested on Monday.
“It was nice to be playing,” captain Morgan, whose side were saved by Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler’s unbroken 77-run partnership, told BBC Sport. “To get away from the distractions and to produce a performance like this makes me very proud.
“[West Indies’] 350 was about 15 or 20 above par, but we had confidence in the chase because the wicket was so good.
“The info we got in the break was that it wasn’t going to be a 50-over game, so we were gauging DLS for between 25 and 35 overs.
“Everything was going to plan until we started to lose wickets. We might have come unstuck, but what a performance for Moeen and Jos to rescue us. They were outstanding.”
Opposing skipper Jason Holder saw Lewis forced to retire hurt after striking the ball onto his own ankle, causing a hairline fracture that has ruled the left-hander out of the final match.
That moment of misfortune proved costly for Holder’s team, for whom Alzarri Joseph claimed a career-best 5-56.
“Evin set the tone for us up front and was able to bat deep,” said Holder. “Unfortunately, he was unable to bat in the last few overs.
“He had to adjust to the situation. When he gets in he goes big. The stand with [Jason] Mohammed was crucial and he was able to kick on at the back end.
“We always know the potential of Alzarri. He came in in the middle overs and gave us the impact we needed.
“It’s not often you one guy scores 170, another gets five wickets and you lose the game. We were aware of the DLS situation, but we couldn’t stem the flow of runs.”