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November 14, 2009
For the second time in two internationals against England, South Africa have felt the full force of Eoin Morgan. His swashbuckling 45-ball 85 at the Wanderers followed his crucial 67 off 32 deliveries in the Champions Trophy, as he flayed South Africa around Centurion. Now the home side have promised to come up with new plans to shackle Morgan's free-scoring, as they aim to level the Twenty20 series.
Dale Steyn was taken for 40 in four overs, while Albie Morkel was dispatched for 32 from two, as South Africa struggled to stem the tide. Only Ryan McLaren escaped the worst of the punishment to take 3 for 33 and Jacques Kallis, who sat out the opening game, said the strategy has already been discussed.
"He [Morgan] played really well, hit some really big sixes and is quite adaptable as well. He's quite a tough guy to bowl to, but we have sat down and come up with a few ideas which we will hopefully implement tomorrow and over the next few one day games. Hopefully that works for us."
Although Kallis will return to the South Africa line-up, he won't bowl - which probably isn't too much of a disappointment with the form of England's middle order - as he makes a cautious comeback following a recent side injury.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith also praised Morgan after his recent first-hand experience of the left-hander's power and the injection of life he has given England. "He's a dynamic player in that middle order," Smith said. "He's one of those players that has really transformed England in the shorter formats of the game."
Morgan has embodied England's new, expansive attitude to limited-overs batting which came about following the depressing 6-1 defeat against Australia in September. It was during those humbling matches that Morgan first showed what he was capable of at the top level with 58 off 41 balls at Trent Bridge, albeit in a losing cause.
Despite his success, though, Morgan still insists he is finding his feet at international level. "Again, I think I'm far from cementing my place in the side," he said. "It's a building block towards where I want to be, but I was certainly happy with the way I did play. But I've only played a handful of games and I've still a long way to go."
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