Strauss hails England’s gutsy display

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Andrew Strauss always had faith in his never-say-die England team to cling on to a World Cup lifeline against the West Indies.

There seemed no way back for England during Andre Russell and Ramnaresh Sarwan’s seventh-wicket stand of 72 as the West Indies closed on a vulnerable 243 all out under lights at the MA Chidambaram Stadium yesterday.

Defeat would have signalled yet another early exit for England from a competition they have never won in 36 years of trying.

But James Tredwell (four for 48) and Graeme Swann (three for 36) had other ideas as the West Indies’ last four wickets fell for three runs and England got home after all by 18.

Even Jonathan Trott’s misfortune, narrowly clipping the boundary cover with the brim of his sunhat as he fell taking an outfield catch and therefore conceding another six to Russell on 39, did not demoralise Strauss’ England.

“I still thought there was another twist in the tale,” said the captain.

“After Trott’s ‘catch’, it was easy for heads to possibly drop at that stage. 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.

“It was another very tough game to play in,” Strauss added. “It was a much better wicket than the game against South Africa (at this same venue), and we were probably 20 or 30 (runs) light.

“There was a lot of responsibility on the bowlers to pull us over the line. We were desperate to win and weren’t going to leave anything behind.”