Morgan relishing Pietersen presence
Collingwood, Morgan and Malik spoke to the media after England's win
Eoin Morgan believes his middle-order partnership with Kevin Pietersen can be central to England’s Twenty20 plans after the pair shared a record unbroken stand of 112 to see off Pakistan in Dubai.
Having been set 130 to win following a disciplined bowling performance, England were faltering in their chase at 18 for three when Morgan joined Pietersen in the middle.
The pair took time to bed in but Morgan ended the match amid a flurry of boundaries, hitting Umar Gul for two fours and a six off the first three balls of the 19th over to wrap up an impressive victory.
He ended with a superb unbeaten off just 51 deliveries, while the often flamboyant Pietersen played a more restrained hand in making 43 not out at a run a ball.
England face the World Twenty20 champions again in the final match of the series tomorrow and Morgan will be hoping for another chance to impress alongside a player whose company at the crease he relishes.
“I like batting with Kev, with the ability and power the guy has,” said Morgan. “The destruction capabilities are endless. I think we suit each other.
“One of us can sit in if the other is in form or fancies a particular bowler, so I enjoy batting with him.
“It was a difficult wicket to get in on, difficult to manipulate the ball, but once we got in we were able to force the occasion and put the pressure back on the Pakistani bowlers.
“But we were able to do that because of the short total we were set. It was a magnificent effort from the bowlers.”
Morgan and Pietersen’s alliance, which spanned 14.1 overs, was England’s highest for any wicket in Twenty20 internationals, but Morgan does not expect the record to last.
“We haven’t played that many Twenty20 games so hopefully the records will keep coming,” he added.
England captain Paul Collingwood was delighted with Morgan’s efforts but was particularly pleased with Pietersen’s innings after he endured an unusually lean time in South Africa.
“We were in a sticky situation, three down early doors, and really it was kind of an anchor role,” said Collingwood. “It was unlike a KP innings but it was a very important one.
“It’s great that he can use his head in that way. He looked very composed out there, which is a great thing because he looked confident at the crease and struck the ball well.
“He played within his limitations and the main thing for him was to see the boys home.”
Pakistan stand-in skipper Shoaib Malik hailed England’s bowling display and also urged his side to follow their opponents’ lead when the sides meet again.
“We didn’t start well and in the T20 format you have to utilise the first six overs,” he said. “Here, England’s bowlers bowled really well with their new ball.
“The England bowlers really utilised the new ball, bowled in good areas and that was the difference.
“We took three early wickets but the way Pietersen and Morgan batted, we should learn from that. The way they batted was awesome but in my opinion we were 20-25 runs short.”
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