EOIN MORGAN could only rue the collapse which cost England series victory against New Zealand yesterday.
England’s white-ball captain was unrepentant, however, about the attacking intent which fell flat after Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root raced to 267 for one in the 38th over of the fourth one-day international in Dunedin.
The tourists promptly lost their next six wickets for 21 on the way to 335 for nine, and then had no answer to Ross Taylor’s brilliance after New Zealand initially faltered to two for two in reply.
The Kiwis pulled off a five-wicket win, with three balls to spare, to level the series at 2-2 and set up a weekend decider in Christchurch, with Taylor unbeaten on a career-best 181.
Morgan did not dispute that England lost the match when four of their most powerful batsmen — including him — mustered nine runs collectively as Kiwi leg-spinner Ish Sodhi (four for 58) intervened.
Asked if the collapse had been decisive, he said: “Yes, it has.”
But at the suggestion it was a case of over-ambition he said: “I’m a big fan of over-ambition.
“When two guys play out of their skin … we’ve got to put the cream on the cake and the cherry on top.”
There will be no inquest unless middle-order collapses are repeated, and certainly no recriminations.
“It’s something that’s not happened before, and is extremely disappointing,” said Morgan.
“It has been a one-off. We’ve certainly had collapses of the top order — in the first 10 (overs), we’ve been four or five down.
“But certainly when we’ve earned the right to push for a 370 score, we’ve not had a collapse like that.”
Taylor had to take the drinks buggy across the ground to his press conference as he struggled with the thigh injury which ruled him out of the previous match.
He hopes to be fit for the weekend, and agreed his 19th ODI hundred must rank among his best.
“Being there at the end, in a win, [it] has to be up there,” said Taylor.
“If they’d got to 360-370 it would have been an unrealistic target — especially at two for two.
“We always knew we’d have to bat well but we knew it wasn’t out of our reach.”
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