Strauss delight as Swann spins England to victory
Captain hails ruthless display after tourists seal crushing innings victory over South Africa to go one up in series
Thursday 31 December 2009
Andrew Strauss was delighted with his England side's display in the second Test, which they wrapped up yesterday morning in Durban to secure a massive victory over South Africa by an innings and 98 runs.
"It's not far off the best performance I've seen from an England side, certainly away from home," the captain said after his side went 1-0 up in the four-Test series with two to play. "We realise that the series is still alive and we've got to do a lot more hard work in Cape Town and Jo'burg, but right now we're just delighted we've stuck to our plan in this game."
Strauss was particularly pleased for batsman Ian Bell, whose position in the side had been under threat coming into the match but who responded with a top score of 140 in England's innings. "It was great to see Belly get a hundred," he said. "People have been questioning his place in the side and he had to stand up and deliver and he played beautifully. I'm really pleased for him and, hopefully, he has answered some of his critics."
England's spinner Graeme Swann was named man of the match after he finished the second innings with five South African wickets. Stuart Broad took four and James Anderson chipped in with one as the visitors rushed to victory before lunch on day five.
Broad, whose match figures were 6 for 87, drew comparisons with the start to England's successful Ashes series against Australia earlier this year. "It is very important to continue our momentum now," Broad said. "It is very similar to the Ashes in how it has gone so far. We hung on in the first Test and then won the second one. Now we've got to keep it going. We must not look too far ahead. We need to get off to a good start in the first session of the next Test in Cape Town."
"It's been a bit of a dream the last 12 months," Swann said. "I've waited a long time to get back into Test cricket and I'm enjoying every moment of it. In the first innings I thought I had a chance of five [wickets] but then Dale Steyn kept hitting me out of the ground, but that happens sometimes when you're a spinner."
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