England captain Eoin Morgan was gracious in his side's five-wicket defeat against New Zealand in first semi-final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, crediting Kane Williamson and his team in outplaying them.
With 57 needed off the last four overs, England seemed to be favourites to wrap the match. But James Neesham (27 off 11 balls) and Daryl Mitchell (72 not out off 47 balls) produced some stunning fireworks to turn the match in New Zealand's favour.
"Full credit to Kane and his team. They outplayed us today. I can't fault anything that we've done tonight. We've fought hard and represented ourselves well, but come up short tonight. Incredibly proud of the guys," said Morgan in the post-match presentation.
He credited Neesham for changing the momentum of the game. "To have an ability to come out and hit sixes from ball one like that is not something everyone has. Full credit to him. He swayed the game in the Black Caps' favour. "
Asked about where the game slipped away from England, Morgan said, "It's hard to identify key moments. I thought we were right in the game from our innings right through to the 17th over. They built right up until they had to push the button then they came good. I thought we had held them at bay until that point."
Morgan mentioned that the pitch was two-paced when England was batting first. "We are a six-hitting side and we struggled to hit them. We hung in there, we changed our game plan and posted around a par score. We felt right in the game at the halfway stage. Given the start we had, taking early wickets, it couldn't have gone any better."
Morgan concluded by saying that he has a lot to offer with the next year's T20 World Cup in Australia. "I hope so. I think I am still offering enough within the side. I love playing cricket at the moment. The guys give absolutely everything and are always looking to get better. They are at the forefront of change both on and off the field. I am incredibly proud to be their leader."
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