England captain Morgan not panicking after back-to-back losses

By Sports Desk June 25, 2019

Eoin Morgan remains upbeat about England's semi-final prospects despite seeing his side slip to a second successive Cricket World Cup loss to Australia at Lord's.

Reigning champions Australia became the first team to seal their last-four berth with a 64-run success, captain Aaron Finch scoring 100 in their 285-7 before the recalled Jason Behrendorff (5-44) and the tournament's leading wicket-taker Mitchell Starc (4-43) helped dismiss England for 221.

The tournament hosts, who lost to Pakistan and were beaten by Sri Lanka last week, could have slipped out of the top four by the time they play their penultimate fixture against India at Edgbaston on Sunday.

However, Morgan, whose men face unbeaten New Zealand in their final group game, is confident the pre-tournament favourites can get back on track.

"I think given the circumstances it's not hugely disappointing – our fate is in our own hands the next two games that we play," he said at the post-match presentation.

"If we can control that and produce performances, we'll be in a healthy position come the latter stages.

"I think everything we need to turn around is quite simple. We're not going to search for anything that's not there. The basics of the game have let us down the last couple of games so we're going to hopefully improve on them moving forward."

Morgan claimed England were "outplayed" and pointed to the disappointing start to their reply as James Vince, Joe Root and the captain himself all fell inside the opening six overs to leave them on 26-3.

"Until the 25th [over of Australia's innings], they sort of dominated," he said.

"I thought we pegged them back really well – for a long time they looked like they were going to get 330 or 340; to restrict them to 280 was a good effort.

"But when you make inroads early and get us 20-3, it obviously pegs us back quite substantially."

Australia's decision to bring in Behrendorff for Nathan Coulter-Nile paid off as he claimed his best figures in ODIs, but it was Starc who took the most crucial wicket, Ben Stokes (89) undone by a brilliant yorker when it had looked like he might be England's hero.

"You can't win the tournament if you don't make the semis so that's the first part ticked off, which is a really nice feeling," said Finch. 

"We've played some good cricket throughout so far so touch wood it keeps going in the right direction.

"England are a standout side and they're a team that can take you apart with the ball and with the bat in certain stages.

"Even you saw today we got them down four down quite quickly and then Stokes and [Jos] Buttler build a partnership and Stokesy, when he gets in, can be pretty brutal on an attack.

"It was nice that we found ways to keep getting wickets in that middle part as well."

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