Relieved Strauss lauds bowlers

England seal NatWest Series with one-wicket win at Old Trafford

Last Updated: 27/06/10 9:40pm

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Andrew Strauss said it had been "horrendous" watching England edge to a one-wicket, series-clinching victory over Australia at Old Trafford.

"I think any series win against Australia is a big achievement and you have to dig pretty deep. Personally it's a great feeling to beat them but we are conscious there are areas we can improve in."
Andrew Strauss Quotes of the week

Chasing a target of 213, the hosts were well placed at 185-3 in the 42nd over thanks to Strauss' 21st one-day international half-century.

But England then lost six quick wickets, including Strauss for 87, to leave last pair Tim Bresnan and James Anderson at the crease with 10 still required off the final two overs.

Bresnan saved the day with 14 not out, edging the winning boundary down to third-man from the first delivery of the 50th over, bowled by James Hopes.

"It was pretty horrendous," Strauss told Sky Sports after watching his team open an unassailable 3-0 lead in the NatWest Series.

"We looked like we were cruising when Morgs (Eoin Morgan) and I were going well, but we have a couple of speedbumps in the first two one-dayers and today was a major one.

"There were some pretty nervous guys and fair play to Tim Bresnan, he kept his head and got us over the line."

Strauss also praised the performance of his side's bowling attack, which was led by off-spinner Graeme Swann's 4-37.

Adapted

He continued "We dragged it back well. The spinners were outstanding, the guys reacted well to the conditions we were encountering, we put the batsmen under pressure and that is leading to wickets.

"I think any series win against Australia is a big achievement and you have to dig pretty deep. Personally it's a great feeling to beat them but we are conscious there are areas we can improve in."

Swann was pleased with his personal performance, and admitted the England dressing room is "buzzing" after a recent run of success, including the ICC World Twenty20 victory.

"It's been a good 12-18 months for me, but this is exciting playing a very good Australian team and after losing so heavily last year we need to make a mark with the World Cup coming up," he said.

"I'm delighted to have bowled well but more important I am delighted we have wrapped up the series.

"We are playing confident cricket and it makes it an exciting place to be, the dressing room is buzzing and it should be."

Challenge

Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes the final two games of the series will represent a real challenge for his side.

"We have some work to do but it will be a good test of character for the guys," he said.

"We have done enough talking, it's about actions, standing up when the pressure is on. We have to work it out and work it out quickly."

The penultimate instalment of the five-match NatWest Series takes place at the Oval on Wednesday.

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