Rum news for captain Morgan as England fight to save West Indies series

By Sports Desk January 27, 2022

England captain Eoin Morgan will sit out the final two matches of the T20I series against West Indies due to a thigh injury.

Morgan's team are 2-1 down after three games of a five-match tussle, with each contest being staged at Bridgetown's Kensington Oval.

The World Cup-winning skipper played in the first two matches of the ongoing series but was sidelined for the third on Wednesday, suffering an injury in the warm-up which meant Moeen Ali led the team in his place.

England lost a high-scoring match by 20 runs, and they must also cope without Morgan's on-field leadership for the games on Saturday and Sunday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said Morgan sustained "a low-grade quadriceps injury" in his right leg that was "relatively minor" but meant he could play no further active part in the series.

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    Eddie Jones suggested Darcy Swain's first-half dismissal worked in Australia's favour as England crashed to a dismal fourth defeat in a row.

    England initially took advantage of their opponents being down to 14 men thanks to Ellis Genge's try early in the second half, only to then collapse in remarkable style.

    Jordan Petaia, Folau Fainga'a and Pete Samu crossed over to put Australia out of sight, with Henry Arundell and Jack van Poortvliet tries mere consolations for England.

    The visitors were five points ahead with 20 minutes left but went on to lose 30-28, and Jones says their terrible final-quarter showing was not helped by Swain's earlier sending off.

    "In some ways, the red card can work against you. Sometimes the referee wants to compensate. We didn't adjust as well as we should have," Jones told Sky Sports.

    "We had enough moments to win the game. At 14-9 with 20 minutes to go we should have put it away. The reaction from the boys is to win this series 2-1. We have to go again.

    "The message at half-time was to keep putting pressure on and we did that in spurts. We lost the ball twice on their try-line and we didn't pressure them, whereas Australia did. 

    "We need to work on our finishing and a bit on our defence as well. There are still some positives to come from what has been a very disappointing result for us."

    Jones clarified at his news conference that he did not blame referee James Doleman for his side's defeat in Perth, but reiterated Swain's exit inadvertently helped Australia.

    "You look at the history of the game, whenever you get a red card the referee evens it up. He helps the team with the red card," he said.

    "It's social reciprocity, it happens, that's normal and we've got to be good enough to handle it.

    "It happens in every game of rugby I've seen. The team gets a red card and the opposition gets evened up. Because they're nice blokes, referees.

    "I'm not criticising the referees, I'm not using it as an excuse, that's the reality of rugby.

    "I'll say it again. I think when you play against 14 men the referee has a significant impact on the game and you've got to be good enough to understand what that is.

    "We weren't good enough to understand what that is and therefore we paid the price."

    England's defeat was their first against Australia in nine Tests amid a run stretching back to October 2015, pre-dating Jones' time in charge.

    Not only did the home side play more than half of the match a man light, they also lost three players to first-half injuries after Quade Cooper pulled up in the warm-up.

    Swain was repeatedly provoked by England's players, with Jonny Hill seen pulling his hair, but Australia coach Dave Rennie is unsure if that was a deliberate ploy from the opposition.

    "I'm not sure if it was a team plan, but there was certainly provocation there. Not just in that situation but also earlier in the game," he said.

    "We'll have a decent look at the footage and work out how we're going to appeal that. We'll have decent look at the card. We'll be seeking clarity around it.

    "We train with the scenario of playing with 14 or 13 players all the time. What we know is that we just have to work harder. We found a way."

    Australia have now won their last five Tests on home soil – their best-such run since 2008 – and five of their last eight when hosting European opposition.

    The second match in the three-Test series takes place in Brisbane next Saturday, before concluding in Sydney the following weekend.

  • Fourteen-man Australia end losing run against England in remarkable contest Fourteen-man Australia end losing run against England in remarkable contest

    Australia snapped an eight-match losing run against England in thrilling fashion with a 30-28 victory at Optus Stadium in Perth, despite playing more than half of Saturday's contest with 14 men.

    The hosts lost fly-half Quade Cooper to injury just before kick-off and were given an even bigger headache when Darcy Swain was dismissed six minutes before half-time for headbutting Jonny Hill.

    Eddie Jones' men were leading 6-0 at that point thanks to a couple of Owen Farrell penalties and looked good value to extend their winning streak in this fixture, only for Noah Lolesio to level from the boot before the interval, by which point Australia had lost three more to injury.

    England finally managed to shake off their opponents when some great execution and patience from a maul allowed Ellis Genge to cross over for the first try of the three-Test series, but Australia again refused to give up and edged in front through a Jordan Petaia try 15 minutes later.

    That led to a remarkable England collapse, with Folau Fainga'a claiming the ball from a line-out and sneaking through just two minutes after being introduced, before Pete Samu added a third try following another fine team drive.

    Lolesio converted all three of those tries but was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on, meaning Australia were down to 13 men late on, at which point debutant Henry Arundell raced through with his first involvement after being brought on.

    Another England debutant in Jack van Poortvliet finished shortly after, with Farrell again adding the extras, but England did not have a chance to resume play in a defeat that will lead to more questions being asked of Jones.

  • India smash Test record as Stuart Broad concedes 35 runs in wild over India smash Test record as Stuart Broad concedes 35 runs in wild over

    England paceman Stuart Broad was put to the sword by Jasprit Bumrah as India set a Test record for the most runs scored in an over.

    The previous record of 28 runs was obliterated as India grabbed 35 from Broad's shocking set of six, with Bumrah doing most of the damage.

    The rout began with a top-edged hook to the boundary for four, before Broad's over descended into chaos as a high wide scurried off to the boundary to give India five free runs, and the next ball, a no-ball, was flung away for six.

    Bumrah lashed each of the next three deliveries for four as India reached 28 from the first four permissible deliveries, before the India captain clattered Broad away for a second six of the over.

    India had 34 with one ball remaining, and this time Broad sent down a yorker, with Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj scrambling a single.

    The onslaught took India from 377-9 to 412-9 on the second morning of the match, with the tourists adding just four more in the next over before James Anderson had Siraj caught by the fed-up Broad.

    This fifth Test at Edgbaston is a long-delayed series decider, having been postponed from last September, when it was due to be played at Old Trafford, due to COVID-19 concerns in the India camp.

    Anderson and England colleague Joe Root were two of the three players who had previously conceded 28 runs from a Test over, to share the unwanted record with South Africa Robin Peterson.

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