Strauss delighted with response

England v West Indies
Andrew Strauss

Captain Andrew Strauss is named as man of the match for his 79 off 61 deliveries

Andrew Strauss has praised England's spirit after bouncing back from Friday's comprehensive defeat to level the series with a nine-wicket victory at the Kensington Oval.

The England captain won the man-of-the-match award for his unbeaten 79 off 61 balls as the tourists chased down a Duckworth/Lewis target of 135 from 20 overs to set up a series decider in St Lucia next Friday.

It was an impressive turnaround from England, who had earlier restricted West Indies to 239 for nine before rain intervened, just two days after being dismissed for a lowly 117.

"It was a very satisfying win," admitted Strauss. "After what happened on Friday we all felt the responsibility to bounce back and play a lot better than we did that day and we did that today.

"What happened has happened (this winter) and it's not been a very satisfactory winter for all sorts of reasons so it's good to see the spirit is still strong in the team.

"We've had to ride a few blows over the course of the last few weeks. We've done that well and we keep responding well and we now just have to add that extra element of consistency which is vitally important in international cricket."

He stressed: "We had a chat after the game (on Friday) and had a chat the next day and at times like that it's important not to re-invent the wheel and keep it as simple as possible.

"The one thing we kept stressing was to individually stand up and take responsibility yourself and don't leave it to someone else and by and large we did that.”

The triumph sets up a series decider at the Beausejour Stadium and a chance for England, who have lost Test and one-day series in India and a Test series in the Caribbean this winter, with a belated opportunity to finish on a high.

Andrew Strauss & Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen suffers a back spasm in his first over but was fit to bat if needed in England's chase

"Friday is an opportunity to go home with some silverware which would be very satisfying for the lads and give us some momentum going into the summer," added Strauss. "We need to get rid of that Jekyll and Hyde nature and back to back wins would be a fitting end to the winter."

England are waiting to discover whether Kevin Pietersen will be fit for Friday's decider after sustaining a back strain during yesterday's victory while all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is expected to recover after hurting his left thumb in the field.

Flintoff had an ultra-sound on the injury which confirmed there was no fracture and England's medical staff will monitor his progress before deciding whether he needs to be sent for a further scan.

West Indies coach John Dyson was not happy with the revised target set by Duckworth/Lewis after Dwayne Bravo's brilliant 69 off 72 balls had guided them to a competitive target in 50 overs.

"It would have been nice to have played a 50-overs game," said Dyson. "Chasing 135 in a 20-over match like that, if you bat senisbly you should get them and they did.

"I'm not too disappointed. I thought we did well to recover our innings and get the total we ended up with but once the rain hit, it either had to stay all the way or it was going to be a problem."

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