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We didn't want to go home the next morning: Strauss

Last updated on: March 18, 2011 10:03 IST

'It was another tough game'


Bikash Mohapatra in Chennai

England went into their final Group B game of the ICC World Cup with a sole agenda and ended up achieving their objective -- beating West Indies by 18 runs.

The win, their third in six matches, helped them stay in contention for a last eight berth in the flagship event.

Images: England vs WI

Captain Andrew Strauss was palpably pleased with the effort and admitted the result had come in as a relief for his team.

"It was another tough game," explained the captain.

"It was a better wicket than the one against South Africa," he added.

Image: Andrew Strauss
Photographs: Reuters

'Tredwell delivered on the day'

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The total of 243, which England scored batting first, was never going to be enough. But it was his decision as captain that proved to be a master stroke.

Strauss made a few tough calls ahead of the game resting the experienced duo of Paul Collingwood and James Andreson for one and opted to go into the game with two off-spinners Graeme Swann and James Tredwell.

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The two spinners shared seven wickets between them and vindicated their captain's decision.

"We were clearly 20-30 runs less," admitted Strauss.

"So it was entirely up to the bowlers to do it for us," he continued, adding, "It was a bit of a risk to play a bowler who had not played a match before (Tredwell, who took four for 48).

"But he delivered on the day."

Image: James Tredwell of England with his Man of the Match award
Photographs: Getty Images
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'The unity worked for us in the end'

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The England captain lauded his team for hanging on when things didn't seem to go in their favour and then coming out with the required result.

"The guys were remarkably buoyant all the way through," said Strauss.

"It is the togetherness that worked for us in the end," he added.

The England captain admitted that losses to minnows Ireland and Bangladesh had affected his team badly.

"The loss against Bangladesh was particularly disappointing and we are obviously disappointed to be in this position (of having to win and then depend on other results)," he said.

"But I am happy the guys have stood up and performed," he added.

Strauss said the defeats against the minnows inspired his team on Thursday.

"None of us wanted to go home the next morning," he admitted, adding, "Clearly we were desperate to do well after the showing against Bangladesh.

"And even when the West Indies team was batting well, I still thought there was another twist in the tale."

Image: Graeme Swann is congratulated by teammates after claiming a wicket
Photographs: Getty Images
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'All we could do is win this game'

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The win meant England now has seven points having played all its matches. However, even though it keeps alive the hopes for Strauss and his men, it doesn't guarantee it.

If Bangladesh beat South Africa on Saturday and West Indies upset India the following day, England can still bow out of the tournament. Strauss though put up a brave face.

"All we could do is win this game," he said.

"If we do progress though, we got to be a lot better than we have been so far," he added.

Image: England's players celebrate after defeating the West Indies
Photographs: Reuters
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