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Morgan Seeks Improvement Despite Win, Shanaka Rues Silly Errors

Cricketnext Staff |October 21, 2018, 1:11 PM IST
Morgan Seeks Improvement Despite Win, Shanaka Rues Silly Errors

An 18-run victory via DLS method over Sri Lanka in the fourth One-Day International might have given England the series but skipper Eoin Morgan believes there's still room for improvement in the fielding and bowling departments.

“I thought today was quite a scrappy game, to be honest,” said Morgan. “We had the better of the conditions having won the toss and bowled and I felt the wicket was a bit tacky and turned a little more than it probably did when we batted. But we felt that Sri Lanka crept up to a very competitive score. Credit to Sri Lanka, they fought back well.

“We are quite honest with where we’re at and where we need to improve. Today it was fielding, we were quite rusty, and we maybe could have been more disciplined in the areas that we bowled."

England had Sri Lanka on the mat before Dasun Shanaka (66), Thisara Perera (44) and Akila Dananjaya (32*) pushed their team to 273 for 7 in 50 overs. In reply, England were 132/2 after 27 overs before rain arrived to play spoilsport. Having already won two of the three ODIs (one was washed out), England completed their ninth series win in a row. No England side has ever won more consecutive series. Morgan said their 2-1 victory over India on the home soil was their best.

"It's nice, but I think we have to continue being honest with ourselves," said Morgan. "We have played some good cricket along the way and the series that probably stand out are India in particular, Australia and New Zealand away.”

Having already sealed the series, the likes of Joe Denly, Sam Curran, Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett might be added to the mix in the final ODI that will be played on Tuesday in Colombo.

“Just because we’ve won the series doesn’t mean that we don’t want to win the next game,” he added. "It’s an important game but also may be an opportunity to look at some other guys as well.”

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka had their moments in the game but couldn't capitalize on them. Shanaka, who smashed four fours and five maximums during his stay in the middle, was run out with close to eight overs to spare. They could have also got rid of Joe Root (32*) when he was on 22, but a silly mistake cost them the wicket. The No. 3 batsman was caught at short fine-leg but just because Sri Lanka had an extra fielder outside the 30-yard circle, he was given a lifeline.

"There was no run there," Shanaka said of his run out. "I came out too far. Normally I have this habit of coming down the wicket about two feet whenever a shot is played. It's a fault that I have that I need to rectify – it's not Thisara's fault.

"When I went in we were 102/4, and I played my normal game without any pressure although we had lost wickets. If I had continued batting longer we could have got a result in our favour. If I had stayed with Thisara for the 50 overs, we could have got around 290-300.

"If we had not made a mistake of having five fielders outside the circle and got Root's wicket it would have been a close game. We could have built on the pressure from there and forced another mistake," he added.

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