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Strauss hails historic Lord's victory

Investec Test Series

Mitchell Johnson, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen & Ben Hilfenhaus

Andrew Strauss leads his side off after their 115-run win, their first Test victory over Australia at Lord's for 75 years

England captain Andrew Strauss praised the stirring response his side gave to their Ashes opener after their historic win at Lord's today.

England channelled the momentum of the rearguard action in Cardiff last week into the second npower Test and completed their first win over Australia at the ground in 75 years.

Victory, by 115 runs, was sealed 20 minutes before lunch on the final day following an Andrew Flintoff-inspired morning.

With five wickets required on the fifth day to seal a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, Flintoff capped a splendid team display with a spell of 10-1-43-3.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann claimed the other two wickets to fall to snuff out lingering hopes of Australia setting a new world-record Test chase of 522.

"It was pretty much the ideal response," said Strauss. "It was important we came out and started the game well.

"We'd been given that little bit of momentum from the way the guys played that final day in Cardiff and we needed to build on that.

"We came out well and put the Aussies under pressure for the first three-and-a-half days, but as is always a case in an Ashes Test, they come back at you at some stage.

"To go 1-0 up in the series is all you can ask for and if we can continue playing that brand of consistent, positive cricket then we'll put them under pressure again and then it's just a case of us taking our chances."

Before they head to Edgbaston, the scene of next week's third Test, England will need to check on the fitness of star men Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen and their respective knee and Achilles/back problems.

Fast bowler Graham Onions also finished the Test with an elbow niggle.

"As I've said before, we've got to take stock," said Strauss. "We've got a week off so the guys can rest their bodies.

Graeme Swann

Off-spinner Grame Swann celebrates bowling Michael Clarke for 136, his third of his four second-innings wickets

"The medical staff will be reviewing things in a few days time and it's hard to know exactly where we're going to be come the end of the week, but at this stage we're hopeful of having a fit 11 to pick from.

"KP was obviously hurting so the medical staff are going to have to see how he reacts to a few days' rest and recuperation.

"It's going to be feet up in front of a TV screen for him more than anything and then we'll have to play it by ear.

"The important thing for us going forward is that we have to be certain the 11 we choose for the Edgbaston Test are going to get through the game.

"But it's a great situation to be 1-0 up in a series and the guys played some top quality cricket this week."

Despite dominating the majority of the contest, England entered the final morning with Australia in the ascendancy after Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin shared a 185-run stand on the fourth evening.

Although there were still 209 runs required when things resumed this morning, Strauss' concern manifested itself yesterday evening when he called his players together for an on-field huddle ahead of taking the second new ball.

"It was an important moment in the game because the wicket looked pretty flat with the old ball," Strauss explained. "I just wanted to make sure we were aware of how important the next little period was for us and for the fielders to switch on.

"It was a real opportunity to get together in a long session.

"Last night my sleep was a little disturbed but I was still very confident we were going to turn up here and win here.

"But, as is always the case when you play an Ashes Test match, there are always twists and turns and the way Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin played yesterday made the Aussies think it was possible and made us realise we had to start well today.

"Thankfully we were able to get a wicket in Fred's first over and we were able to calm the nerves and allowed us to push forward for the victory."

Flintoff began his progress to only a third five-wicket haul in Tests with his fourth ball when he had Haddin caught in the slips.

Ricky Ponting & Andrew Flintoff

Ricky Ponting congratulates all-rounder Andrew Flintoff on his five-wicket haul, his first Test five-for at the Home of Cricket

And he charged in, defying any discomfort he may have experienced in his right knee, with little respite for the batsmen until the job was completed shortly after 12.40pm.

"We have always said that when he is up and running and bowling as well as he can he is probably as good as anyone going around," said Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

"Ask all of our batters in this game and they will say he is right up there with the best quicks in the world when he is bowling well.

"He gives his all and his spells have not got shorter through the game. If anything they got longer and this morning his pace didn't drop off at all. That is what you expect from him, he has always been a great competitor.

"England certainly rely on him standing up and doing the job and he did that throughout this game."

In truth, Australia's lacklustre start contributed to them becoming the first wearers of baggy green caps to taste defeat at English cricket's headquarters since 1934.

"There were fundamental skill errors made in this game, and I am not just talking about the bowling," said Ponting. "We probably didn't bowl our best on day one but we didn't bat very well either in the first innings.

"Two hundred on that wicket was a long way short of what we needed to get.

"We actually got out of jail a bit because at none for 190 they could have got any sort of total.

"So 425 wasn't that bad a total. We needed to match that at least and we came up a couple of hundred short."