x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Strauss savours 'special' victory

Andrew Strauss has been playing at Lord's for Middlesex for more a decade so if anyone was destined to plot a victory over Australia and break England's 75-year-duck it was the studious left-hander.

LONDON // Andrew Strauss has been playing at Lord's for Middlesex for more a decade so if anyone was destined to plot a victory over Australia and break England's 75-year-duck it was the studious left-hander. Strauss marshalled his side brilliantly during the five days of the second Test match, finding time to also score a measured 161 in the first innings, to navigate England to their first Lord's triumph over Australia since Hedley Verity claimed 15 wickets in the match in 1934 with his left-arm spin.

"It's a really special victory for those 11 guys," said Strauss. "To win an Ashes Test match at Lord's is something many guys have dreamed of doing over the last 50 or 60 years or so and to be the guys who pulled it off is pretty special." Andrew Flintoff pipped Strauss to the match-of-the-match award and said: "To get five wickets is special but to win a Lord's Test makes it extra special. "It was a massive team effort. To go one up in series was the big one. I'll enjoy this moment, however there are three Tests to go. We can't sit back, we must keep improving and getting better."

Graeme Swann has certainly flourished since his recall to the England side, and he is the leading Test wicket-taker in the world in 2009 with 30 scalps. He was delighted to remove the dangerous Michael Clarke, who is such a fine player of spin bowling, yesterday with his second ball of the morning. "It was a surprise more than anything," said the Nottinghamshire twirler. "He held them together I think, so to get him out was probably the key wicket. So I'll take all the glory," he added tongue-in-cheek.

"It's unbelievable. Everybody was a little bit nervous and apprehensive this morning but getting the wicket of Haddin calmed everyone down."