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Page last updated at 05:52 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 06:52 UK

Strauss answers critics with win

Andrew Strauss
Strauss struck an unbeaten 79 as England levelled the one-day series

England captain Andrew Strauss said his rapid unbeaten 79 to help level the one-day series in the West Indies was the perfect riposte to critics.

Strauss guided England to a nine-wicket victory in a rain-hit match in which they had to chase 135 from 20 overs.

"The only way we can counter criticism is by what we do on the pitch and that's what we did," he told BBC Sport.

However, Andrew Flintoff is a doubt for the decider in St Lucia on Friday after a possible fracture to his hand.

Strauss said he hoped the inspirational all-rounder had only sustained a bruise in attempting a near-impossible catch in a match where he took two other catches - one a brilliant boundary effort - and bowled danger man Ramnaresh Sarwan cheaply.

An initial X-ray appeared to ruled out a break, but England are remaining cautious about Flintoff.

Kevin Pietersen is also expected to recover from a back spasm which forced him off the field after bowling just five balls in a surprise spell - which Strauss said was partly to exploit the tension between Pietersen and Windies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Strauss said his 61-ball effort was one of his "more satisfying innings" in international cricket, and he went on: "The wicket played very well. We needed to come back strong after Friday's defeat and we did that well today.

"Our bowlers did an excellent job and chasing 240 in 50 overs would have been one that we would have backed ourselves to chase. Certainly you back yourself to chase 135 in 20 more times than not.


"Sometimes you can think a bit too much about batting. We were able to be a bit more positive, watch the ball, hit the ball and thankfully get off to a good start. We got over the line quite comfortably in the end.

"We've said before that we're a bit Jekyll-and-Hyde in one-day cricket - we've shown that again, today thankfully the better side."

The series is level at 2-2, with the fifth and final game in St Lucia on Friday.

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see also
Strauss blitz keeps series alive
29 Mar 09 |  England
West Indies v England photos
29 Mar 09 |  England
WI v England 4th ODI as it happened
29 Mar 09 |  England
Angry Gayle hits out at Pietersen
28 Mar 09 |  England
Windies humiliate dismal England
27 Mar 09 |  England
England 'embarrassed' by collapse
27 Mar 09 |  England
Pietersen reveals mental fatigue
28 Mar 09 |  England
Chanderpaul century sinks England
22 Mar 09 |  England
West Indies legends video archive
14 May 07 |  West Indies
England in West Indies 2009
29 Mar 09 |  England

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