England captain Morgan praises Stokes after T20 win

Cardiff, Sep 1 (IANS) England captain Eoin Morgan has praised all-rounder Ben Stokes after their thrilling five-run victory in the one-off Twenty20 clash against Australia here.

With Australia needing 12 runs in the last over, Stokes kept his cool to concede just six, while claiming the wicket of Nathan Coulter-Nile to hand the hosts a nail-biting win on Monday.

“He took on the responsibility of bowling that over really well. I hadn’t earmarked him before the day had started for bowling the last over of the game but the situation came where we had to bring our frontline bowlers back on to try and take the game that much further,” Morgan was quoted as saying by the Daily Express on Tuesday.

“Playing with 12, the challenge was to get ahead on the over. That gives him a licence and a confidence to play the way he did.”

Monday’s T20 victory follows England’s 3-2 triumph over their bitter rivals from Down Under in the Ashes series and the hosts will aim to extend the winning run to the five-match one-day series which starts in Southampton on Thursday.

Morgan asserted that English cricket faces an exciting future with a host of young players battling for inclusion in the one-day team.

“We’ve an exciting group of young cricketers, even outside the 14 we selected for the ODI series.

“We probably have another four or five guys outside that pushing for places and earmarked for the future,” the England captain said.

“It’s a very exciting time for us but it’s important we recognise that this is just the start of something and important we continue playing in the fashion that we do to try and improve as we go along.”

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