Eoin Morgan said that England’s win over South Africa in the second of the three match ODI series was “unbelievable.” “We decided we needed wickets [before the final over from Mark Wood] and to make them hit the ball in the air,” explained Morgan. “But we didn’t take any wickets and still managed to win. Unbelievable. Wood’s yorkers are usually good at the end but we decided to go with his raw pace. We thought a few bouncers was our best chance of taking those wickets. Maybe we bluffed them.”
England had set a target of 331 for South Africa to chase. It was the seventh time in 10 innings that Morgan’s side had scored more than 300 runs in an innings. Even then Quinton De Kock and AB de Villiers set South Africa on cruise mode and it looked like their game untill the final two overs.
The Proteas needed 10 to win off the last 10 balls with David Miller and Chris Morris on the crease. The two remained unbeaten but South Africa fell two runs short of the target due to a brilliant final over from Mark Wood.
England’s first innings total was powered by a century from Ben Stokes. But Morgan said that Stokes’ fitness remains a concern. “We are monitoring him,” said Morgan, “and managing him the best we can with the Champions Trophy in mind. He is certainly good to play as a batsman at Lord’s [on Monday]. It depends how he pulls up. But he wants to play. I think that unless he’s injured or a risk he will play.”
Stokes had not bowled his full quota of overs at Ageas Bowl. “Before the end I’d already decided that was enough,” said Morgan, who also has to keep an eye on Chris Woakes’ fitness as well. “His absence was more precautionary but we don’t want to take any risks with him.”