Cricket

England and Australia share concern for Morgan

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England and Australia were united in concern for Eoin Morgan after the home captain was floored by a 90mph bouncer in the Royal London series decider.

Australia eased to victory by eight wickets after England were skittled tamely for just 138 in the first innings.

A brief and breezy chase set up a 3-2 series victory, ending Australia's otherwise disappointing tour on a high note.

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Morgan retired hurt after turning his back on a steepling Mitchell Starc delivery in the seventh over and, having been treated for concussion by team medics, did not return to the field of play.

Starc, who played the game in which Phillip Hughes suffered a fatal injury whilst batting, was visibly rocked by the incident.

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He was sought out on the boundary rope for some words of support by Australia coach Darren Lehmann, while captain Steve Smith wished his opposite number well at the close.

"I think there were a couple of guys that were a bit shaken up, Starcy in particular," said Smith.

"Obviously it was a tough summer for us back home, losing a close mate (Hughes).

"You never like seeing anyone get hit like that, that's for sure.

"Whenever anyone gets hit on the helmet like that your first concern is for their health. My concern at the moment is for Eoin. I hope he's okay and he can recover well."

James Taylor, who deputised for Morgan when England took the field for Australia's regulation chase, suggested the skipper's violent departure had been a factor.

But with the scoreboard already reading 22 for three, he fell short of blaming it for the result.

"That injury probably did cost us, it's not good to see a member of your team hit like that but the guys have got to put it to the back of their minds," he told Test Match Special.

"Eoin got an unbelievable ball from Mitchell Starc, he was a bit groggy and hopefully he can just rest up for the next few days.

"But it's credit to Australia. We weren't good enough in that middle section and it wasn't our day."

England coach Trevor Bayliss offered a heartening update from the dressing room but promised that Morgan would continue to be assessed for any delayed reaction.

"He's all right, he's got a bit of a lump on his head and a bit of a headache but he's up and about now having a chat," he said.

"When anyone gets hit it's an anxious moment but he walked off the field, which I think is a good sign. He was a bit dizzy for a while, it took an hour or so for him to come good but the medical staff will keep a close eye on him."

The game itself was an unusually one-sided affair in what has been a thrilling summer of white-ball cricket.

Defeat cost England the unlikely prize of an undefeated season across all three formats at the last moment, having won or drawn all of their previous rubbers against New Zealand and Australia.

Bayliss, who has otherwise made good progress on modernising the team's limited-overs methods, viewed the result as part of a young side's learning process.

"You want to win every series you play, but I think one of the good things from the summer is the way they've gone about playing their cricket," he said.

"Every now and again there's going to be a bit of a hiccup like there was today.

"There's still work to be done, definitely, and we've spoken about it a couple of times within the group. But we've shown people how well we can play."

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Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
Australia cricket

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