Flintoff hails England turnaround

England v West Indies
Andrew Strauss

Captain Andrew Strauss revels in the glory of England's triumph at St Lucia

Andrew Flintoff revealed how England's one-day series win in West Indies had made his hard work in returning to fitness worthwhile after inspiring an historic triumph.

The Lancashire all-rounder claimed career-best figures of 5-19, including only the third one-day international hat-trick by an England player, to help the tourists seal a 26-run win in the final one-day international at Beausejour Stadium.

His efforts helped dismiss West Indies for 146 in reply to the tourists' 172 for five in a match reduced to 29 overs by rain and enabled them to become the first England side to win a one-day series in the Caribbean.

"I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a good feeling," admitted 31-year-old Flintoff, who has only just returned from a month off with hip problems.

"It's been an on and off winter for me and I've had a few injuries and it's been hard, but it's nights like this that you do come back and you put the work in so you can come back out onto the pitch.

"To finish on a win for the team and also have a personal performance in there as well is very pleasing."

"It was important to finish on a high with this one-day series," he added. "It's been a tough winter and to win this series at the end of it is very pleasing.

"We can go back home now and look ahead to what we've got over the next few months and get a bit of momentum for the summer."

Captain Andrew Strauss added: "Given we lost the Test series the one-day series is very important to us. Freddie has had a tough tour but he showed his quality today. That is why he is one of the best bowlers in the world because under pressure he can deliver."

Disappointed West Indies captain Chris Gayle said: "(Winning) the Test series was very important to us. It means we have turned a bit of a corner but we still have a long way to go.

"We’re improving as we are going, give England credit for their work."