Sensible England batting pleases Strauss
By Julian Guyer
11:01 AEST Tue May 22 2012

England captain Andrew Strauss saluted the "sensible batting" of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell after the duo steered the hosts to a five-wicket win over the West Indies in the first Test at Lord's on Monday.

England were 2-10 and 4-57 in their pursuit of a target of 191 before Cook (79) and Bell (63 not out) shared a stand of 132 that took their side to the brink of victory after lunch on the fifth day.

Cook was out with England two runs short before Bell struck the winning four.

"I think the wicket was pretty slow and flat and we had a pretty good chance of chasing it down," Strauss told Sky Sports.

"But you never know with cricket. One of the beauties of the game is the unexpected can sometimes happen and we put ourselves in a bit of a tricky position by losing a couple (of wickets) last night.

"I thought Alastair Cook and Ian Bell went about in a very civilised and professional manner and, thankfully, got us over the line.

"It was very sensible batting."

West Indies may have won just two of their past 31 Tests and be without a victory in their past 15 Tests in England, but the way they took the match into the fifth day suggests they will not give up on the three-match series.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul frustrated England with innings of 87 not out and 91, spending more than 10 hours at the crease at Lord's, and shared a second-innings stand of 157 with Marlon Samuels on Sunday.

"It's been a tough Test match - we've had to work very hard for this," said Strauss. "West Indies have played some really good cricket.

"The way Chanderpaul and Samuels batted yesterday (Sunday) made life very difficult for us and we had to dig pretty deep.

"The seamers had to go through a lot of overs to take those wickets but, when you have to dig deep, it makes it a bit satisfying when you get over the line."

This match was a personal triumph for Strauss and seamer Stuart Broad.

Strauss's 122 in the first innings was his first Test century in 18 months while Broad's haul of 11 for 165 made him the first England bowler since Ian Botham against New Zealand in 1978 to take 10 in a Lord's Test.

"It was lovely to get that hundred and, when you score a hundred in a winning cause, it makes it even more special but there were a lot of good performances in the side so overall we're pretty happy," said Strauss.

Broad added: "Sometimes when you come to Lord's, it's quite hard to pick up rhythm straight away but I think all the bowlers got into it throughout the day.

"And to bowl out West Indies for 243 on that first day was a great effort."

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