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It was a hugely significant victory - Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan reacts after getting dismissed in the fourth ODI against Australia at Headingley.
Eoin Morgan reacts after getting dismissed in the fourth ODI against Australia at Headingley.
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England captain Eoin Morgan termed the series-levelling victory against Australia in the fourth One-Day International at Headingley on Friday as “hugely significant”.

The three-wicket win, which was also England’s highest successful run-chase against Australia, means that the hosts now have a chance to press for a series victory in the final ODI on Sunday.

Having lost the first two matches in Southampton and London, England had a daunting task to string together three consecutive wins if they were to win the series.

Speaking about the victory, Morgan expressed that the team was very optimistic about chasing down 300 runs at the halfway stage.

“It (the victory) was hugely significant,” Morgan told Sky Sports.

“I think two out of the four times (scores in excess of 300) has been chased down by this squad.

“At the halfway stage we were pretty confident we could chase it down.

“Before a ball had been bowled I certainly would have taken 300 as a chase and the guys were pretty optimistic about it.”

The contributions from the lower-order were the key to England’s successful chase, with Moeen Ali and David Willey taking the team past the victory line.

Morgan conveyed that it was a comfortable situation when a team has batsmen in the lower-order who can keep their calm in a tricky chase.

"Moeen Ali at the end with a very cool head seeing us home, which is great.

“It is always comforting having guys down the order that can play well and have a lot of experience of it.” 

Having won the toss and opting to bat first, Australia were quickly reduced to 30 for three in the ninth over, thanks to David Willey’s triple strike.

Acknowledging that the wicket supported the bowlers more than he expected, Morgan commended Willey for making optimal use of the conditions.

"He (Willey) opened the floodgates with Australia three for 30 which was pretty unexpected.

“The wicket was quite dry and I didn't expect it to swing like it did.

"But he took advantage of the conditions and took advantage of his chance which was great to see."

Despite losing their top order so cheaply, Australia rallied back to post 299 runs on the board, riding on the back of fifties from George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade.

Wade, who brought up his fifty in just 26 balls, got together with John Hastings to score 65 runs from the final five overs, giving the Australian total a much needed boost in the death.

Morgan admitted that death bowling remains an area where England are currently focussing on improving their performances.

“It (death bowling) is still an area we are trying to improve on.

“We don’t have like a Lasith Malinga or a Mitchell Starc or a guy with a unique action that can specialise at the death.

“I think we are trying to grow that and continue to do that over the next year or so.” 

Personally, Morgan has been in great form as a batsman, scoring 277 runs from four games at an average of 69.25 with three fifties under his belt in the ongoing ODI series.

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