Morgan happy to start his summer

  • Last Updated: June 29 2012, 21:39 BST

Eoin Morgan's hard work paid off on his home ground as he restated his claims as England's outstanding limited-overs batsman, and helped to put them 1-0 up on Australia in the NatWest Series.

Eoin Morgan: Gave England a huge boost

Morgan demonstrated all his renowned skill and ingenuity in a blistering 89 not out which pushed England up to a defendable 272 for five.

England's bowlers then hunted as a pack, with two wickets for each of the four frontline seamers, as Australia finished on 257 for nine.

Morgan and captain Alastair Cook could therefore reflect afterwards on a job thoroughly well done against the world's top one-day international team.

But for the middle-order batsman, there was perhaps most reason for satisfaction after his and Jonathan Trott's half-centuries had consolidated on Cook and his fellow opener Ian Bell's determination in awkward early batting conditions Morgan was left out of the Test reckoning after his miserable tour of the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan in January and February and was then restricted to net practice at the Indian Premier League while the English season began in earnest without him.

"It's not fun when you're not getting any runs, not contributing to the team. So today was a big start for my summer," said the left-hander, who has continued to do himself justice of late in limited opportunities in the shorter formats.

"When I came back from Dubai, I had two weeks off and came back and reflected on what I'd done poorly in the UAE and made some technical changes.

"One of them was the balance of my head, and the other was my hand movement.

"The stuff I did was very basic. It's just a matter of monitoring it."

The value of his remedial work was to England's benefit and Cook was a grateful captain.

"To score at a strike rate of 130 or 140 is an incredible innings, to get us up to a really competitive score," he said.

"Clearly, it was hard work to start with at the top. The ball was nipping around a bit, but what was pleasing is that we didn't panic as a batting order.

"We kept wickets in hand, and we all know at Lord's you can make up (time), especially with people like Eoin to come in. It worked well.

"To have wickets in hand is part of our gameplan, and the conditions didn't allow us to do much else for the first 20 odd overs.

"I don't think you could have played much differently.

"To get a good start like we did - it might have been a bit slow - meant we certainly laid the groundwork for someone like 'Morgs' to come in and do what he did."

England were handicapped by losing the toss and batting under heavy cloud cover between rain breaks.

But Cook and Bell responded with an important stand of 74.

"We would have liked to bowl first in those conditions," said the captain.

"But whatever happens at the toss, I always say you have to outplay the opposition if you want to win.

"We probably got a little bit lucky, the way we dug in there. But it certainly helped us to get to a very good total."

Cook's opposite number Michael Clarke top-scored with 61 in a run chase which faltered for good only after he and his sixth-wicket partner Matthew Wade were out in quick succession.

Wade went in a run-out mix-up, which Clarke admitted was pivotal.

"It probably played a big part in us not winning the game," he said.

"If Matthew and I were there at the end, we were confident that we had a chance. It was disappointing - and run outs tend to do that, don't they? They tend to cost you the game."

Clarke was happy to give due credit to Morgan, but also felt his own team could have done better.

"He played really well, that's for sure.

"He helped England get to a very good total, and it was too good for us today unfortunately.

"We probably didn't execute our skills at the death as well as we could have. I think they took 80-odd off the last 10 overs.

"Then we lost wickets at important stages of the game, where we needed blokes to go on and make big scores.

"We were a little bit impatient, but that's what good bowling does. It builds pressure and it makes you impatient. We've got to find a way.

"They outplayed us today in all facets.

"They batted better, didn't lose wickets at crucial times - and their death bowling and powerplay bowling was very good."

James Anderson appeared to be bowling through some pain, including while taking two important wickets in the space of three balls.

Cook confirmed afterwards that the pace spearhead has an injury problem.

He said: "There is a slight worry about his groin.

"Clearly he stayed out there; we are just going to have to assess him, probably tomorrow morning, and we'll let you know as soon as we know."