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Morgan targets tougher totals

By Rob Barnett

Stand-in captain Eoin Morgan accepted that England did not post a sufficient score to challenge World Twenty20 holders West Indies in today’s tournament warm-up.

Morgan top-scored in his side’s 131 for seven with 43 not out after winning the toss at Fatullah. Although four of the other top six reached double-figures, none went beyond Moeen Ali’s 22.

Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith quickly put the Windies on course for a seven-wicket win, which arrived with 23 balls to spare, thanks to an opening stand of 78.

Morgan, leading the side in place of Stuart Broad who is hoping to face India tomorrow in Mirpur, was disappointed that England could not match their 165 for six in winning the third and final Twenty20 international with West Indies last week.

"We never put ourselves in a position to take their bowling on; they bowled well but we didn't play well enough to take them on,” he said.

"We never really got any substantial partnerships going, which was disappointing given the progress we made at the back end of the West Indies trip.

Eoin Morgan, who top-scored for England with an unbeaten 43 in their 131 for seven, said: "We never put ourselves in a position to take their bowling on."

"We found it a bit of a stuttering innings today. We were a bit short of par and given the start the West Indies got we were staring down the barrel a little bit. It was just tough to get going."

Smith contributed 36 and Gayle finished unbeaten on 58, striking four of West Indies’ five sixes and 10 of their 12 fours between them.

Although Morgan hit England’s sole maximum, he was not too concerned by their boundary count of 17.

"I don't think that's the real problem," he added.

"You can never just concentrate on hitting sixes ... getting the fours is more important. Around 82 per cent of games are won by the side who hit the most fours.”

England, whose opening competitive game is versus New Zealand on Saturday, are having to adjust quickly to the pitches in Bangladesh with just a second warm-up to come.

"We know about the lower bounce out here and that's something we have to adjust to quickly," Morgan continued.

"We're focusing hard on improving our skills and getting some partnerships going. Hopefully we can do that sooner rather than later.

"We're coming up against a very good India side next who have similar skills to the West Indians. They will go in as favourites but we'll try and get as much out of the game as we can.

"And if we perform there's no reason why we shouldn't win."

Click here for images of the game.

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