Nottingham - England captain Eoin Morgan
praised Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler and Liam Plunkett for getting his side
"out of a hole" as the first one-day international against Sri Lanka
ended in a thrilling tie.
Set 287 to win, England collapsed to 30 for
four and 82 for six in Nottingham on Tuesday.
But a stand of 138 between Buttler (93) and
man-of-the-match Woakes, who made 95 not out - the highest ODI score by any
number eight batsman - revived the innings.
England's hopes of victory disappeared in a
final over where they needed 14 to win in front of a capacity crowd at a
floodlit Trent Bridge.
However, with six required to tie off the
last ball, tailender Plunkett drove Nuwan Pradeep over long-off to seal the
tie, in what was a stunning start to the five-match series.
This was Plunkett's first match at this
level since September, but the fast bowler said he was confident his reputation
as a big hitter in county cricket would be maintained on the international
"I was telling myself I have been
hitting it well for Yorkshire - 'stay still and hope I get enough on it to get
it out of the ground'," said Plunkett.
"You know when you have nailed the
ball, it's like on a golf course off the tee, a similar feeling."
Morgan added: "You can always win the
game from any situation, and today proved that a little bit.
"Getting out of the game with a tie is
a big result," the former Ireland batsman said.
"Towards the end, it was in Sri
Lanka's favour, there weren't a lot of boundaries being hit, and they bowled
At one stage on Tuesday, it looked as if
Morgan's men, playing their first ODI of the English season, were in danger of
a record defeat.
"The general performance was poor -
bat, ball, field, was really rusty," said Morgan.
"Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Liam
Plunkett have got us out of a hole at the end.
"We've got confidence with the guys
coming in anywhere down past seven and eight - but we don't want to leave them
too much to do."
Woakes might not even have played Tuesday
had injured fellow England all-rounder Ben Stokes been fit.
But he responded to England's slump with a
career-best score, having earlier taken two wickets with some lively pace
"It was outstanding - a lot of
Woakes's story is that he is competing with Ben Stokes, and the two of them are
incredible cricketers," said Morgan.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews led from
the front by top-scoring with 73 in his side's 286 for nine and then taking two
early wickets with his medium-pace bowling.
But come the finish he was off the field
with a hamstring injury and it was perhaps no surprise that Sri Lanka's ground
fielding, a problem during their preceding 2-0 Test series defeat by England,
became increasingly ragged in his absence.
Nevertheless, Mathews wasn't alone in
believing that Sri Lanka had the match won.
"I thought we had the game in the bag
for most of the overs," he said.
"Unfortunately the yorker fell just
off line and went for a six," explained the all-rounder, yet to discover
if his injury will rule him out of the second ODI across the Midlands at
Birmingham's Edgbaston on Friday.
"For Pradeep, it happens.
Unfortunately for bowlers, it happens."
Mathews added: "We batted and bowled
pretty well. We were poor in the field. We can improve in all three departments
but especially in fielding."