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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Strauss ecstatic with team effort
England captain Andrew Strauss
Strauss will want to make it 3-0 at The Oval next week
England skipper Andrew Strauss was delighted with his players after the series-clinching victory over Pakistan in the third Test at Headingley.

England go into next week's final Test with an unassailable 2-0 lead.

"When we lost Andrew Flintoff we knew all 11 players would have to contribute," said Strauss.

"The way the guys reacted has been first-class, there's been real intensity. There was high-quality batting, bowling and fielding."

Strauss, who scored a crucial 116 in England's second innings, picked out paceman Sajid Mahmood, who took 4-22 in Pakistan's second innings, and spinner Monty Panesar for special praise.

"We've always known what Saj can do," said Strauss. "He can bowl at 90mph and trouble the best batsman. He bowled an excellent line and deserved those wickets.

I felt a bit down after Old Trafford because I didn't get a wicket

Sajid Mahmood

"Monty has been brilliant all series and he did a great job in both innings. It's not easy to contain world-class batsman and look threatening."

Strauss also lauded the efforts of wicket-keeper Chris Read, who was playing his first Test since March 2004.

"Chris probably felt a little bit of pressure coming back into the team but he batted well and his glovework was outstanding," said Strauss.

Mahmood put improvements in his bowling down to the work he has done with England bowling coach Kevin Shine and Lancashire coach Mike Watkinson.

"I felt a bit down after Old Trafford because I didn't get a wicket," said the fast bowler.

"But I worked hard with Shiney and spoke to Matthew Hoggard about how to bowl on this wicket, and it showed in the second innings.

Any pitch I come across I try and bowl the right pace on it

Monty Panesar

"I've worked quite a lot with Shiney about getting the seam more upright and also with Mike Watkinson, and it's come out well in this Test."

Panesar, who took six wickets in the match, said the ball that dismissed Younis Khan in the second innings was the best he has bowled in Test cricket.

Younis had made 41 and was looking dangerous until Panesar beat him with a sharp-turning delivery that hit the top of off-stump.

"It was a good team effort that's the best ball I've bowled, especially on a wicket that was flat," said the Northants left-armer.

"I bowled a little bit quicker to get some purchase off the pitch and I got a few to turn quite quickly.

"Any pitch I come across I try and bowl the right pace on it. You've got to suss the pitch out as you play."


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