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Page last updated at 23:16 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 00:16 UK
West Indies v England ODI series

Strauss acknowledges England's fans after the win in St Lucia
Strauss acknowledges England's fans after the win in St Lucia

England captain Andrew Strauss praised his team's fighting spirit after they ended their Caribbean tour with victory over West Indies in the one-day series.

"Given that we lost the Test series, the one-day series is very important to us," said Strauss following England's 26-run win in St Lucia

"It has been a long, hard tour and to come out at the end with something is pretty special.

"I'm delighted. We played really well and handled the pressure well."

It gave them a 3-2 victory in the one-day series and boosted the hopes of Strauss and acting coach Andy Flower of keeping their roles for the summer.

Flower, a former Zimbabwe captain, said there was "lots of hard work to do" and admitted he would "love the opportunity" to continue his partnership with Strauss on a permanent basis.


"We do get on OK, but getting on is not that important - it's whether you can combine and make a winning group.

"We'll see what happens, the decision is out of my hands," he added.

Strauss paid tribute to the resilience of his players after a long tour. England lost the Test series 1-0 and fought back from 2-1 down in the one-day series.

"There were certainly occasions on the tour when we could have fallen apart quite comfortably especially after what happened in the first half of the winter," added Strauss.

"The guys didn't let that happen, kept close as a unit and we kept helping each other through those tough times - that's an important starting point if the guys are willing to help each other when times are tough."

I'd like to get some runs but it is not through lack of effort

Andrew Flintoff

But England were again indebted on Friday to all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, whose figures of 5-19 included a hat-trick - only the third by an England player in a limited overs international.

"Freddie has had a tough tour - he's been injured a couple of times, but he showed his quality today.

"That is why he is one of the best bowlers in the world - because under pressure he can deliver," said Strauss.

Flintoff was named Man of the Match but admitted afterwards that although he was happy with his bowling, his batting was a cause for concern.

"I'd like to get some runs but it is not through lack of effort," said Flintoff, who was dismissed for three in St Lucia. "It is taking a while to come.

"I've been working hard on my batting - I hope a score is just around the corner.

"It's been an on and off winter for me and I've had a few injuries, but it's for nights like this that you do come back.

"To finish with a win for the team and also have a personal performance in there as well is very pleasing."

England face a busy summer of cricket, with a home series against the West Indies, the ICC World Twenty20 and the Ashes before a tour of South Africa.

And Flintoff added: "It was important for us to get something out of the tour.

"We can go back home now and look ahead to what we've got over the next few months and get a bit of momentum for the summer.

"If you look at the side and the talent we've got in there we should be capable of performing consistently."

West Indies were left to rue a misreading of the Duckworth-Lewis calculations by coach John Dyson which cost them victory in the first match of the series in Guyana.

But skipper Chris Gayle chose instead to focus on the positives to be drawn from his team's performance, especially their victory in the Test series.

"The Test series was very important to us. It means we have turned a bit of the corner, but we still have a long way to go," he said.

"We're improving as we are going, give them credit for their work."

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see also
Strauss blitz keeps series alive
29 Mar 09 |  England
Windies humiliate dismal England
27 Mar 09 |  England
England in West Indies 2009
03 Apr 09 |  England

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