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Rashid will be vital in England's quest for wickets in this summer's Cricket World Cup

'He's right up there' – Eoin Morgan lavishes praise on Adil Rashid

Eoin Morgan, the England skipper, applauded leg-spinner Adil Rashid for his 1/15 in the first Twenty20 International against West Indies.

England secured a four-wicket victory in St Lucia on Tuesday, 5 March, after the bowlers restricted the hosts to 160/8 in 20 overs. Nicholas Pooran top-scored with a 37-ball 58, but none of the other West Indies batters crossed the 30-run mark. 

"I thought the bowlers were magnificent," said Morgan after the game. "Taking early wickets really did put us on the front foot because it's something that we've struggled to do this whole white-ball tour.

"I thought our seam bowlers did an incredible job and were then followed up by a fine spell of bowling from Adil Rashid. Obviously, Chris Jordan came back in and bowled really well and Tom Curran ended up with four wickets but I really thought Adil did an incredible job today."

The disciplined Rashid restricted the scoring rate and also removed the dangerous Carlos Brathwaite for a six-ball duck. 

"I think he's right up there," said Morgan. "I think he's proven over the last three or four years that he has the ability to come on at any stage of a 50-over game or a T20 game and threaten both sides of the bat, which makes it difficult.

It's great to be back and play with a lot of freedom

Jonny Bairstow

"His variations are getting better, he's become more confident at bowling them and he really is a huge asset for us."

England opener Jonny Bairstow was Player of the Match for a 40-ball 68. "It's great to be back and play with a lot of freedom," he said. "A few guys have headed back home, hence it was a good chance to step up."

The second T20I will be played in St Kitts on Friday, 8 March. 

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