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Strauss takes the plaudits

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Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss drives on the way to a fine century at Old Trafford © Getty Images

England captain Michael Vaughan paid tribute to Andrew Strauss after the opener's century helped guide the hosts to a six-wicket win over New Zealand in the second npower Test at Old Trafford.

The left-hander hit 106 as England completed the highest fourth-innings run-chase at the ground by overhauling a target of 294 on the fourth day.

For Strauss it was his second ton in three Tests, a welcome run that includes a magnificent 177 in the final Test in New Zealand in March.

Vaughan said: "When you are chasing that kind of total you always have stages when the opposition is on top.

"To come back and show that character and resistance we hope we can build on that.

"Andrew Strauss is growing with confidence all the time. It's a tremendous hundred and one that got us over the line."

Vaughan also hailed his side's tenacity, adding: "The pitch allows both teams to play that kind of cricket.

"This morning the first session was always going to be critical. To win by six wickets on that pitch is special - it shows a lot of mental strength.

"We do enjoy playing at Old Trafford - it creates an exciting game of cricket."

New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori rued his side's second-innings collapse from 85 for two to 114 all out yesterday.

Monty Panesar's 6-37 decimated the tourists after they had appeared to be on the verge of victory, and, asked whether he regretted the display after they had come so close to winning, Vettori said: "We have to with the positions we had ourselves in.

"All the things that go to winning the game, all the things contributed to where we are now.

"Probably we didn't help ourselves with some of our shot selection. We still have a chance to draw this series. We are going to hurt for a long time."

Brendon McCullum & Michael Vaughan

Brendon McCullum watches Michael Vaughan force off the back foot © Getty Images

Panesar collected the man-of-the-match award for his Test-best haul, which swung the match in England's favour.

And the left-arm spinner admitted he enjoys playing in Manchester, where he has now taken 25 wickets at an average of under 17 in just three Tests.

"With the assistance I was getting from the pitch I knew there was a responsibility on me and luckily I was able to get the wickets," Panesar.

"Whenever I come to Old Trafford I do well here and I enjoy bowling here and the wicket does help me a lot."

The Northamptonshire spinner also revealed he got a ticking-off from umpires Simon Taufel and Darrell Hair for his overexuberant appeals.

He added: "I try and enjoy myself out there and do get a bit excited and that shows in the celebrations sometimes.

"The umpires said I needed to calm down a bit sometimes with my jumping up and down."

Strauss added that he was happy to "cash in" while he felt in good nick as he helped England to victory with a composed second-innings 106.

"I just feel confident and comfortable at the crease and did not get frustrated when I'm not scoring," Strauss said.

"You need to cash in while you're feeling good. You learn a lot about yourself when you are not in good form but when you are playing well you need to make the most of it.

"We can talk about a lot of things off the pitch but the in middle sometimes you can just forget that and get frustrated but I'm a lot more relaxed and back to my best form in an England shirt."

Strauss continued: "Michael [Vaughan] and Mooresy [Peter Moores] said we had a chance to do something special when we wrestled the initiative back in the match and just need to apply ourselves.

"I think New Zealand expected wickets to fall last night when they came out but we showed a positive frame of mind and ran hard to put them under pressure.

"You want to score quickly but you have to do that by putting fielders under pressure which I think we did well today."

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