Quick gun Morgan


The last ball six. There can be few moments on a sporting field as exhilarating and heart-breaking at the same time. It is when a team requires a boundary of the last delivery in a limited-overs contest that success and failure stand poised at the tip of a knife's edge. When the battle of wits between a batsman and a bowler comes to an ultimate head.

It also requires the two chief protagonists to possess nerves of steel. Over the years, Eoin Morgan certainly has proved that he's one cricketer who thrives under high-tension ó almost like he enjoys a masochistic penchant for pressure.

On Saturday, the England T20 captain had thrashed and slapped the Indian bowling to leave the match in a dream scenario. Up against him was the inexperienced Ashok Dinda, who till that point had bowled a rather thrifty over, keeping Morgan and Jos Buttler down to six runs of five deliveries. But as he braced up to bowl the final delivery to one of the most clinical finishers in the world, Dinda froze. He leapt off the ground in typical fashion but then stopped in his stride. Probably his nerves had got to him. At the other end, Morgan had positioned himself to scoop the ball over the two infielders behind square on the leg-side.

Too many cooks

As Dinda walked back to his mark, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni suddenly felt the urge to call for conferences with a number of his teammates. Probably it is in these few minutes that the hosts eventually lost the contest. For it gave the aggressive English left-hander added time to reassess his tactics while only worsening the jitters in Dinda's mind.

While he had found the perfect full length till then in the decisive over, when it mattered the most, the Bengal seamer dished up an appealing half-volley, which was walloped over the sight-screen-to take England past their 178-run target.

... contd.

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