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Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Thursday, 17 March 2011

Cricket World Cup: Strauss hails England performance

World Cup Group B, Chennai:
England 243 (48.4 overs) beat West Indies 225 (44.4 overs) by 18 runs
Match scorecard

England captain Andrew Strauss

Strauss praises England bowlers (UK only)

Captain Andrew Strauss said England's "hunger and desire" helped them to an 18-run win over the West Indies having been on the brink of defeat.

The Windies were 222-6, chasing 243, but were remarkably bowled out for 225 as England kept alive their hopes of reaching the World Cup Super Eights.

"Today was a tough game, a must win game," said Strauss.

"We should have got more runs, maybe 260 or 270. The guys stuck together and showed their hunger and desire."

The win means England are through to the quarter-finals unless Bangladesh beat South Africa and the West Indies get at least a point against India.

Strauss added: "We've been inconsistent, no doubt.

"We haven't played as well as we would like. We have pulled out results when needed, but now we must wait on other results - hopefully were have done enough to progress.

"This shows the spirit of the side - it is a close-knit unit.

"None of us wanted to go home tomorrow morning and we were very motivated to not let that happen."

"But we have to get better, no doubt about it."

England spinner Graeme Swann

Swann thought England's World Cup was over

Strauss was particularly pleased with his side's reaction to a missed opportunity in the 38th over when the West Indies, with four wickets in hand, appeared on course for their target.

Jonathan Trott seemed to catch Andre Russell deep in the outfield, before television replays, although inconclusive, suggested the fielder brushed the boundary rope as he dived to gather the ball.

A six was awarded to Russell, who was his side's eventual top-scorer with 49.

"After Trott's 'catch', it was easy for heads to possibly drop at that stage," reflected Strauss.

"But the guys were remarkably buoyant all the way through. I think we really felt that something was going to happen - and thankfully, it did."

England's spinners did much of the damage to the West Indies batting line-up, Graeme Swann taking 3-36 while man-of-the-match James Tredwell took 4-48, including the key wicket of Russell.

"I thought we've had that many close games that it was just not going to happen," said Swann.

"I did honestly [think England would lose]. I thought 'It's one of those nights'.

"We have dug ourselves a hole and we are slowly stepping out of it.

"It was up there with Ashes for raw emotion."

West Indies skipper Darren Sammy lamented his side's failure to chase down England's total.

"One of guys who got starts had to bat through," he said.

"I was quite happy chasing 243, although we could have restricted them for less. We should have chased down the target."

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see also
England win keeps Cup hopes alive
17 Mar 11 |  England
England v West Indies as it happened
17 Mar 11 |  England
World Cup photos
17 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Shahzad to miss rest of World Cup
17 Mar 11 |  England

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