England captain Eoin Morgan hailed the depth in his squad after they beat Ireland by four wickets at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton to claim a 2-0 lead in the three-match series. England are playing with a side that has none of the players from the Test team that played the West Indies in a three-Test series in July.
“We have a lot of guys who can change the match with the bat at the top of the order, they have the potential. These guys take the game away from the opposition,” said Morgan in the post-match presentation ceremony.
“I was going to bat at 4 and then we changed it. I am more than happy to give guys opportunities. It’s difficult with two bubbles, obviously Test match is priority. We are trying to fit the best XI in the white ball format.”
England chased down a target of 213 and looked set for an easy win while Jonny Bairstow was going after the bowlers. But after three quick wickets fell between 16th and 20th over, Sam Billings and David Willey saw them through to the finish line. Earlier, Ireland were taken beyond the 200-run mark after being 91/6 due to a lower order fightback led by 21-year-old Curtis Campher.
“Today was a challenge but we always wanted to play with intent. We lost wickets but certainly looking at the way the guys played, particularly Jonny at the start and then Sam and David finished well,” said Morgan. “Shows the depth in our batting and I thought the bowlers did a good job as well.”
Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie admitted that the visitors were not good enough with bat or ball but hailed Campher’s efforts.
“We were too many short and those four, five wickets early didn’t help,” he said. “Campher batting brilliantly today and showed us the way. If you are playing with a low enough total you got to be attacking. That’s the spike we needed. He got us back into the game. We got to bat a lot better than we have in the last two games.”
Bairstow was the Player of the Match for his 82 off 41 balls. “Sometimes I need a bit of rev up. Be it on the field or any external influence, obviously we don’t have the crowds now. Hopefully I can score many, many more runs,” he said.