Strauss delighted with duo
Andrew Strauss praised the batting of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell after they steered England to a five-wicket win over the West Indies.
Last Updated: 22/05/12 8:07am
England captain Andrew Strauss praised the batting of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell after they steered the team to a five-wicket win over the West Indies.
The tourists were threatening a comeback at Lord's courtesy of late wickets on day four, and the early losses of Trott and Kevin Pietersen before lunch on the final day gave England food for thought.
However, Cook and Bell steadied the ship with the pair putting on 132 runs, ensuring the home side moved from their uncomfortable position of 57-4 to just two runs off their target before Cook was caught behind.
Strauss was never too worried by the outcome, stating he felt the wicket would increasingly favour the batting team as the day progressed.
"I think we felt the wicket was pretty slow and flat and that we had a very good chance of chasing it down, but you never know with cricket," Strauss told Sky Sports.
"The beauty of the game is that the unexpected can sometimes happen and we put ourselves in a bit of a tricky position by losing a couple last night.
"By the time we got to 40-odd for four it looked a little bit dicey, but I still felt the wicket would only get flatter.
"I thought Alastair Cook and Ian Bell went about it in a civilised and professional manner and thankfully they got us over the line.
"Civilised stroke play, very sensible batting. It's been a tough Test match. We've had to work very hard for this.
"The West Indies played some really good cricket. The way (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul and (Marlon) Samuels batted yesterday made life very difficult for us and we had to dig pretty deep. The seamers had to go through a lot of overs to take those wickets.
"We you have to dig deep it makes it more satisfying when you get over the line."
Strauss helped himself to a 122-run haul in the first innings and the Middlesex batsman was delighted to end his ton drought as it was his first three-figure knock at Test level in 18 months.
"It was lovely to get that hundred and obviously when you score a hundred in a winning cause it makes it even more special," he continued.
"There were a lot of good performances throughout the whole side so overall we're pretty happy, there are always areas you can improve definitely and we'll try and do that in the second Test."
West Indies captain Darren Sammy was taking the positives from the five-wicket defeat, and he is seeking more consistency from his squad ahead of the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
"We did a lot of good things," commented Sammy. "Some guys performed really well for us.
"We'll look at the good things we did and in the next Test match hope to repeat it more consistently."
When questioned whether the West Indies believed in an upset on day five, he replied: "We all did, especially the way Kemar (Roach) started off, but once the hardness of the ball went away it became much easier to bat on.
"An experienced batting line-up like England, the guys showed their class and got the team home."