Hussain hails 'fantastic' win

David Clough
Friday 27 December 2013 05:36

The winning captain, Nasser Hussain, said that he could not recall having seen any England side play better after yesterday's thrilling 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka here.

Hussain's side wrapped up victory and a 2-0 series success with one over to spare, thanks to some clean hitting from their openers Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan. It all left Hussain barely able to believe what he had seen as he began to reflect on the performances of the first-innings centurions Mark Butcher and Alec Stewart with the bat, and Alex Tudor and others with the ball.

Tudor finished with match figures of 7 for 109 as England prevailed, despite 171 runs in the match from Russel Arnold, to leave their captain full of admiration.

"Some victories are more unbelievable than others," Hussain said. "I cannot catch my breath after that. The last couple of days I do not think I have seen an England side play any better.

"To bowl Sri Lanka out on that wicket for 250 and 300 in two days is magnificent. I cannot praise them enough, especially Alex Tudor."

It was the Surrey bowler who led the way for the new guard of England's pace attack in the absence of the injured Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick, whose side strain ruled him out after only 5.3 wicketless overs.

Tudor's efforts rightly earned him the man of the match award ­ and more importantly the enduring respect of his captain. "You can only single out one person in this game, and that is Alex Tudor," said Hussain. "Andrew Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard do not surprise me anymore, because they do the hard yards all the time. But Alex stepped up to the plate with his batting, bowling and fielding. That was a fantastic performance."

But the outcome was tough for Sri Lanka's captain, Sanath Jayasuriya, to handle. "It is disappointing. We need more application than that," he said.

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