England was one of the favourites heading into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash against Pakistan in Trent Bridge. They had won the series played before the tournament 0-4 while they had defeated South Africa in the opening game of the tournament at The Oval by 104 runs. However, Pakistan put in a brilliant all-round show, led by Mohammad Hafeez’s 84 and attacking fifties from Sarfaraz Ahmed and Babar Azam. Pakistan notched up 348/8, their second-highest score in World Cups and a disciplined bowling performance saw them win by 14 runs and get their campaign back on track.
In both the matches at The Oval and Trent Bridge, England had pulled off some marvellous catches. Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes took some stunning catches but in Nottingham, England was sloppy in the field. From the very first over there were misfields and overthrows and one very expensive dropped catch - Jason Roy, usually one of the safest hands on the team, shelling a regulation effort and then seeing Mohammad Hafeez go from 14 to 84. Morgan said this was the key factor in their loss.
“I don't think it was that bad a day with the bat and ball but our fielding that was a bad day. We've gone from our best fielding performance to a display that has really cost us. I don't know how many runs, 50 or 60? You can have bad days with the bat and ball but you really shouldn't in the field. We've done all the work and it's hard to explain, they were mistakes we never normally make,” Morgan said.
When asked whether England took Pakistan lightly in the contest, Morgan dismissed that notion. “We were short by 14, they posted a big score and it's hardly that far away. We certainly weren't complacent. When you play Pakistan you expect everything from them. It was a very good game of cricket and a great advertisement for the tournament. We're bitterly disappointed to be on the wrong end of the result. Trent Bridge is a high scoring ground, we felt the wicket was good, the outfield was rapid and we thought if we got partnerships going, 350 was in our grasp,” Morgan said.
Joe Root and Jos Buttler smashed centuries as England tried to pull off a record run-chase. However, they fell short by 14 runs and this was the first time in World Cup history that a team lost despite two players scoring centuries. Morgan said it was an attitude thing.
“Trent Bridge is a high scoring ground, we felt the wicket was good, the outfield was rapid and we thought if we got partnerships going, 350 was in our grasp. Joe and Jos kept us in the game. If we could have got a substantial partnership earlier, we might have got over the line,” Morgan said.
England will take on Bangladesh in Cardiff on June 8 and they will be aiming for revenge after losing two of their previous World Cup encounters in 2011 and 2015 in Chittagong and Adelaide respectively.