Strauss - A pleasing victory

Skipper relieved by England's return to form

Last Updated: 25/09/09 10:50pm

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Strauss: upbeat after victory

Strauss: upbeat after victory

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England captain Andrew Strauss hailed his "dangerous" side after they opened their ICC Champions Trophy campaign with a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka.

"It was a professional chase and it sets up the group quite nicely."
Andrew Strauss Quotes of the week

Strauss' men entered the tournament with low expectations following a 6-1 thrashing on home soil at the hands of Australia in the NatWest Series.

But after bowling Sri Lanka out for 212, England confidently chased down the total on a tricky Wanderers wicket with five overs to spare.

England's much-maligned middle order led the way with Eoin Morgan hitting an unbeaten 62, Paul Collingwood 46 and Owais Shah 42.

"We played well. It did a little bit with the the new ball, the key was not to lose early wickets," Strauss said at the post-match presentation.

Praise

"Colly took the game to them, Shah batted well and Eoin Morgan played excellently at the end.

"I think it was one of our better one-day performances for a while.

"I think it is a fast-scoring ground. The ball comes off the bat quickly and the outfield is fast so it was a case of not losing too many early wickets and keeping sensible, not being too rash early on.

"It was pleasing the way we went about the chase. It was a professional chase and it sets up the group quite nicely.

"There's still hard work to do. We are not jumping up and down at this stage. It was just good to get a win.

"Victories like this you can take a lot from. It was just great to see our batsmen play without fear and if we keep doing that we're going to be a dangerous side."

Strauss also praised Morgan, who stifled the threat of Sri Lanka's spinners Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan in the middle overs before reaching his second one-day international half-century in England colours.

"He plays at Middlesex with me and he has played a lot of innings like that for the past couple of years," Strauss added.

Calm

"It's just great to see him transfer that into the international arena. He looked calm and he played the spinners well - that was the key for us."

Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara admitted his side were always under pressure once an impressive opening spell from James Anderson (3-20) had reduced them to 17-4.

"It was a good total from where we were," he said. "But it didn't seem enough with the wicket easing off towards the end of the match.

"There wasn't much spin in the wicket, but I think we still bowled well, especially Ajantha.

"We have a bit of homework to do before the next game."

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