Eoin Morgan urges England to embrace World Cup ‘dream’

England's Eoin Morgan during the press conference ahead of his side's Cricket World Cup semifinal against Australia at Edgbaston. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 10 July 2019
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Eoin Morgan urges England to embrace World Cup ‘dream’

  • On eve of crunch Australia clash, Morgan issued passionate plea for players to take pride in their achievements
  • Morgan can lead England to their first World Cup final since 1992

EDGBASTON, Birmingham: England captain Eoin Morgan has urged his side to embrace their World Cup dreams as they prepare for Thursday’s blockbuster semifinal against old rivals Australia.
Morgan can lead England to their first World Cup final since 1992 if they beat the holders at Edgbaston.
Advancing to Sunday’s title match at Lord’s would be the culmination of four years’ hard work for Morgan and his squad after their dismal performance at the 2015 edition.
On the eve of the crunch clash, Morgan issued a passionate plea for his players to take pride in their achievements so far and to relish their moment in the spotlight rather than be weighed down by pressure.
“Sometimes I’m guilty of it, you can lose sight of the position you’re in and the fact you’re living your dream,” Morgan told reporters on Wednesday.
“I think it’s possible to play with a smile on your face tomorrow.”
Asked if the World Cup hosts were feeling excited, nervous or simply focused on the task at hand, Morgan added: “All of those things. But I think excitement probably should be the dominant one.
“Everyone is excited to play this semifinal. The fact that through the group stages getting to this stage looked unlikely, or was called into question, makes it even more exciting for us.”
Morgan’s side have established a proud recent record against Australia, winning 10 of the last 11 one-day internationals between the old rivals prior to this tournament.
That counted for nothing in the group stages, when Australia claimed a 64-run win at Lord’s that left England’s hopes of top-four finish in doubt.
Morgan admits England were not themselves in that match, knocked off course by a tame defeat to Sri Lanka and the absence of injured opener Jason Roy.
Roy is back from his torn hamstring and England looked far more formidable in the wins over India and New Zealand that took them to the semifinals.
“We’re probably more confident than we were three games ago, we’re a different team,” Morgan said.
“The loss against Sri Lanka hurt us. I don’t think we were playing anywhere near our best cricket, there was a hangover from the Sri Lanka game. It feels like we’re back to the team we are.”


Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

Updated 23 August 2019
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Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

  • Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital

COLOMBO: Trent Boult and Tim Southee led New Zealand’s charge against Sri Lanka on day two of the rain-hit second Test on Friday, with the host skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s offering resistance with a half-century.
Boult took two early wickets in one over after Sri Lanka resumed the day on 85 for two at Colombo’s P. Sara Oval, where the start was delayed due to a wet outfield.
Sri Lanka were 144 for six at lunch with Dhananjaya de Silva, on 32, and Dilruwan Perera, on five, at the crease.
Southee, like Boult, also delivered a double-wicket maiden as the duo put on a superb display of seam bowling under overcast conditions.
Boult got overnight batsman Angelo Mathews caught behind for two to reach a landmark of 250 Test wickets — only the third Kiwi bowler to achieve the feat.
He trapped Kusal Perera lbw for nought after just three balls as Sri Lanka slipped to 93-4 and would have been in further trouble had Boult held on to a simple catch from de Silva off his own bowling a few overs later.
Karunaratne also got a lifeline on 61 when Kane Williamson could not grab a tough chance at short mid-wicket off Ajaz Patel.
But the left-hander, who completed his 23rd Test fifty after resuming the day on 49, soon fell, caught behind off Southee for 65.
Southee struck again in the same over to send Niroshan Dickwella trudging back to the pavilion for nought.
Perera then played out the rest of the session with de Silva.
Medium-pace bowler Colin de Grandhomme and spinner William Somerville took a wicket each on the opening day after Sri Lanka elected to bat first.
Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital.