Eoin Morgan took heart from England batting deep after they overcame initial batting trouble to beat Afghanistan in the ICC World Twenty20.
England’s bowlers then stifled their opponents, restricting them to 127 for nine as Liam Plunkett particularly impressed with his four overs, including a maiden, costing just 12.
A 15-run run win keeps Morgan’s men in contention for the semi-finals. Their fate will possibly be decided when they play holders Sri Lanka on Saturday at the same venue.
That England survived a potential banana skin today was thanks largely to a 57-run partnership between Moeen and Willey, who were unbeaten on 41 and 20 respectively.
“It was a very important stand. To get us up to 142 Ali and Willey played really well,” said Morgan.
— David Willey (@david_willey) March 23, 2016
“The difference between chasing 120 and 140 is huge, and one of our strengths is that we bat right down the order.
“Where the rest of our batsmen struggled those two guys showed a great deal of application.
“We had to get a score on the board. I had a loo break when we were five or six down and thought about what sort of score we could get…could we push 120-125 and then bowl brilliantly?
“But that 19th over of left-arm spin (from Hamza Hotak) went for 25 and that went a long way.”
Moeen, who hit four fours and a six in his 33-ball stay, added: “We wanted to take it to the last three overs and try and have a bit of a hack at the end but it was tough, they bowled really well.
“The situation was probably better for me to try and take my time a little bit, and thankfully it came off.
“Today was about getting the job done against a good side and it was a tough game.”
This low-scoring contest was in contrast to Friday’s run-fest when England spectacularly chased 230 to defeat South Africa.
That match was at the Wankede Stadium in Mumbai, a faster wicket than for today’s game as the Feroz Shah Kolta staged its first Twenty20 international.
Speaking about England’s batting on the Delhi pitch, Morgan added: “This was the wicket every single one of us was expecting.
“It was simply a matter of not adapting. We’ve been practising similar things that we needed here but just didn’t produce.
“The execution of our plans was off by a long way. But I think if we’d have been a bit tentative that would have been the wrong way to go.
“The intent we showed was really good and we want to continue that.”