KOLKATA: England skipper Eoin Morgan said Ben Stokes would be devastated by the manner of the "cruel" final-over defeat to the West Indies in the World Twenty20 final in Kolkata on Sunday.
With England needing to stop the Windies from scoring 19 runs in the last over, Morgan handed the ball to Stokes, only for Carlos Brathwaite to hit four consecutive sixes.
"I think it is cruel (on Stokes). It's quite simple from my point of view. He is going to be devastated," Morgan said after the shock four-wicket loss at Eden Gardens.
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"You could say what you like to him at the moment but he's probably not hearing a lot."
England's most-trusted death bowler, seemed the perfect man to lead Morgan's side over the line but Brathwaite's exploits left Stokes looking crushed on the field as the Windies erupted in celebration.
"It'll take its toll in the next couple of days, but we share everything we do, we stick together as a side. We share pain, we share the success," added Morgan.
Making West Indies totter at 11 for three while defending their total of 155, England saw a neat rearguard action from Marlon Samuels who stroked an unbeaten 85 before Brathwaite took the match away with his 34-run blitz.
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"I can't fault anything with the ball or field today, I thought we were exceptional. I think we let ourselves down tremendously with the bat. We were probably 40 short on a 180-190 wicket," said Morgan.
Stokes, who has been England's go to man in the death overs after helping the team get over the line in crunch games, got into a verbal duel with Samuels, a strategy that seemed to backfire.
"He (Stokes) doesn't learn. They keep telling him whenever he plays against me, do not speak to me because I am going to perform," said man of the match Samuels.
"Didn't even face a ball and you have so much to say today. So I know I have to be right there till the end today again."
The International Cricket Council said afterwards that Samuels had been fined 30 percent of his match fee for using "abusive and offensive language" at Stokes.
The heated relationship between the two players started in April last year when Samuels had given a military-style send off salute to Stokes after the all-rounder lost his wicket during a Test match in Grenada.
Stokes didn't read too much into the incident as he congratulated the West Indies side on Twitter.
Overwhelmed by all the support of everyone after a disappointing last over.....So proud to of represented my country in a World Cup final...— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) April 3, 2016
"Overwhelmed by all the support of everyone after a disappointing last over.....So proud to of represented my country in a World Cup final...," he tweeted.
To everyone who has supported us thank you very much you've been awesome...congrats to the West Indies on winning a great final— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) April 3, 2016
"To everyone who has supported us thank you very much you've been awesome... congrats to the West Indies on winning a great final."
England have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround since their embarrassing exit from the group stages of last years 50-over World Cup.
"As a whole I'm very proud of my players," said Morgan.