Lightning can strike twice - Strauss
Andrew Strauss believes England can emulate their remarkable win in the Commonwealth Bank Series four years ago after victory today over Australia at Adelaide.
Strauss’ side kept the current rubber alive with a 21-run triumph in the fourth game of seven, reducing the hosts’ lead to 3-1.
The England captain was a member of Andrew Flintoff’s team that came good in the closing stages of the 2006-07 CB Series, a triangular tournament also featuring New Zealand.
England, having lost the Ashes 5-0, made a disastrous start to the competition and had to win their last two round-robin games and rely on the Black Caps losing to Australia in order to reach the finals.
The results went their way and Flintoff’s men capitalised by beating the previously dominant hosts 2-0 in the deciders.
Strauss has faith the present players can match that four-game winning run and stun Australia in similar fashion this time.
“I don’t see any reason why not,” he said. “We desperately needed to get the victory today and we came here determined to do so. We needed a couple of good performances to do that.”
Those “good performances” came from Jonathan Trott and Matt Prior, who shared a 113-run alliance and struck 102 and 67 respectively.
Trott played with typical composure to build on a quickfire knock from Prior, who had made ducks in his previous two innings.
With added late hitting from Paul Collingwood, who became the first England batsman to reach 5,000 one-day international runs, and Michael Yardy the tourists posted 299 for eight.
"Anytime someone gets 100 you're in the game and most times you win, so it was an outstanding innings from him," Strauss added.
"I thought Matt Prior gave us real impetus at the top and I think he showed everyone what he can do at the top of the order. It was a useful innings for us.
"There were probably a few too many soft dismissals again, but 299 is always going to be a competitive total at Adelaide."
Strauss took particular satisfaction from beating the hosts on Australia Day, the date of England’s most humbling defeat of the 2006-07 series.
On that occasion the tourists were skittled for 110 and Ricky Ponting’s side required fewer than half their overs to overhaul such a measly target with nine wickets in hand.
"It feels very good actually, especially after being 3-0 down in the series," he said.
"It was a must-win game for us. We came here determined to play well and we're delighted to have won. It was a far better performance all round compared to the first three games."
Australia were always battling the required rate today in reply after losing early wickets, with out-of-sorts skipper Michael Clarke again struggling with an unconvincing 15 from 27 balls.
Cameron White and David Hussey tried to gather the innings for a late assault as they put on 60 for the fifth wicket, but Trott removed both with his medium pace to effectively snuff out Australia's hopes.
Clarke admitted his team had been left with too much to chase after a poor display in the field.
"It was probably a few too many runs," Clarke said. "I don’t think we started very well with the ball and weren’t at our best in the field, either. As I’ve said before we have work to do in all areas of our game.
"We get up tomorrow and try and become better. I still thought we did pretty well to get as close as we did."
The series now heads to Brisbane with Sunday's game set to act as a fund-raiser for the flood victims in the city and its surrounding districts.
Clarke said the match would therefore take on extra significance as his side aimed to wrap up the series at the second time of asking.
"It’s a big game for us for a lot of reasons. With the support for the flood victims and the money we are going to try and raise," he added.
"I know all the guys will be feeling a bit emotional so it’s a pretty special day for us and we’d love to come out and win the series there."