England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan has hailed the Ben Stokes-led second-string English unit for taking an unassailable 2-0 lead against a full-strength Pakistan team in the three-match ODI rubber.
Prior to the ODI series, English cricket landed in great trouble as seven members of the squad- including three unnamed players- tested positive for the Wuhan virus.
The seven infected members and the rest of the squad were immediately forced into isolation as the England and Wales Cricket Board assembled a fresh squad consisting of a plethora of uncapped county players under the leadership of Ben Stokes.
With so much inexperience in the English set-up, one would have thought that Pakistan would finally break their drought of not having won a bilateral ODI series in the UK since 1974.
But once again the unpredictable nature of Pakistan flared up in the first two ODIs as the Babar Azam-led batting unit fell like nine pins in consecutive games against the England seam bowling attack led by Saqib Mahmood and Lewis Gregory.
After having been shot out for a mere 141 in the first game, Pakistan batters once again failed to cope with the relentless accuracy and the seam and swing generated by the likes of Mahmood and Gregory to eventually get bowled out for 195 in 41 overs in pursuit of 248 in a rain-affected 47-over-a-side game.
While Saqib Mahmood [2-21 in 8 overs] and Matthew Parkinson [2-42] claimed two wickets apiece, all-rounder Lewis Gregory starred with both bat and ball as he racked up a crucial 47-ball 40 besides claiming 3/44 in eight overs.
Post England’s series-clinching 52-run-win, regular skipper Eoin Morgan took to Twitter to heap high praise on the Ben Stokes-led English team while also underlining the magnanimity of what the squad has achieved.
”15 of the current squad in isolation. Buttler and Archer injured. What @benstokes38 and the team have achieved is incredible. Looking forward to watching the next game!” wrote Eoin Morgan.
15 of the current squad in isolation. Buttler and Archer injured. What @benstokes38 and the team have achieved is incredible 🙌🏻 Looking forward to watching the next game!
— Eoin Morgan (@Eoin16) July 10, 2021