Vaughan sets sights on summer of seven Test victories

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The Independent Online

England have their sights on winning all seven home Test matches this summer after yesterday's victory ensured that they cannot lose the series against the West Indies.

England have their sights on winning all seven home Test matches this summer after yesterday's victory ensured that they cannot lose the series against the West Indies.

No England side has won seven consecutive Tests for 75 years, but the current captain, Michael Vaughan, basking in the satisfaction of following a 3-0 win against New Zealand with a 2-0 lead against Brian Lara's struggling team, said he could sense a clean sweep was within his side's grasp.

"You don't win any Test match without working very hard and we respect the West Indies, because any side which includes Brian Lara is very dangerous," he said.

"But you can sense that our players now expect to win. In this match, even though we were 260 for 5 in the first innings, which was below par, we still believed we would get a big total. We felt we needed a 150 partnership and we believed that in Andrew Flintoff and Geraint Jones we had the men to do it. If you win games from the kind of positions we have been in during the last 12 months, it gives you extra belief."

Flintoff clinched the man of the match award after adding crucial wickets to his first innings 167. But Ashley Giles had a strong case for collecting the honour for a second straight match after taking nine for 122, the first England player to finish with nine in consecutive matches since Tony Lock in 1958.

"If I had imagined I would have been disappointed in two Test matches running not to get 10 wickets, I would have dismissed the thought as dreaming," Giles said. "It has to be the most enjoyable time of my career, certainly the most successful. I know I got nailed a bit for my performances in the West Indies, but since last September I've got 49 wickets and I've only got 112 in my career, so it has been a good year for me."

Lara, whose leadership has been criticised during this match, most notably by former captain Sir Viv Richards, dismissed the notion of standing down. "I was asked back into this job and I'm not going to fling it away," he said. "Whether I stay in the job is not up to me, but so long as I am I will do it to the best of my ability and continue to fight to get West Indies cricket back to where it should be."

The fast bowler Tino Best will miss the remainder of the series after suffering a stress reaction in his back. He will be replaced by the Trinidad and Tobago left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed, who was expected to arrive in England today.

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