Electric England seal series
England secured a 2-0 victory in the NatWest Series by comprehensively outplaying West Indies en route to a 58-run win in the third and final ODI at Edgbaston.
Having been invited to bat first by Windies skipper Chris Gayle, England batted superbly to reach 328 for seven - their highest one-day total against West Indies.
Ravi Bopara (49) and skipper Strauss (52) got the innings off to a fine start, before Matt Prior (87 from 86 balls) and Owais Shah (75 from 65) took the tourists’ attack apart.
West Indies never looked like threatening England’s score from the moment they lost Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan inside the opening four overs and they were eventually dismissed for 270 in the final over, despite 68 from Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
James Anderson picked up three wickets for the hosts, while Stuart Broad claimed 2-63.
Following their impressive performance in Sunday's six-wicket win at Bristol, England opted to name an unchanged side.
West Indies made two changes to their XI, with Runako Morton coming in at the top of the order for Lendl Simmons and fast bowler Fidel Edwards replacing all-rounder Darren Sammy.
Bopara and Strauss started in positive fashion and rarely looked troubled during an entertaining opening stand of 81.
Strauss was given a life in the 10th over when Kieron Pollard spilled a difficult chance at backward point off Edwards, but it was a rare moment of alarm as England moved into a position of dominance.
Bopara was unfortunately dismissed by the final ball of the 15th over as he bottom-edged Dwayne Bravo on to the stumps via his pads, but England moved on to 100 in only the 19th over.
Strauss greeted the arrival of Sulieman Benn with a clever reverse sweep for four and the skipper passed 50 with a tickle to fine-leg for three in Benn’s next over.
However, the giant spinner soon gained his revenge as Strauss failed to get his foot behind the line after missing a quicker delivery and was duly stumped by Denesh Ramdin.
With a solid platform in place, Prior and Shah joined forces in a superb third-wicket partnership of 149 that took the game away from the tourists.
The duo found runs easy to come by and offered a perfect example of how to bat in the middle overs of a one-day international as they combined the occasional aggressive stroke with a series of well-run ones and twos.
Their decision to take the batting powerplay in the 37th over, with the score 201 for two, paid off as 55 runs were accumulated in five overs of mayhem.
Prior reached his fifty from 53 balls, while Shah brought up his 10th ODI half-century with a magnificent flick over midwicket for six, before both fell to Jerome Taylor (3-59) amid a flurry of wickets in the closing overs.
By that stage the damage had been done and the Windies were left needing to reach their highest ODI total batting second if they were to win the match and draw the series.
Gayle started brightly with two impressive boundaries through the off side, but he was soon heading back to the pavilion as a miscued pull off Broad looped into the hands of Bopara at mid-on.
A brief shower then brought a halt to proceedings, but the players soon returned to the field.
Sarwan was not there for long, however, as a loose drive off Anderson was caught one-handed by Strauss at short cover.
Chanderpaul was once again left with the responsibility of rebuilding the West Indies innings alongside Morton and the duo battled well to fend off the twin threat of Broad and Anderson.
However, the introduction of Dimitri Mascarenhas and Tim Bresnan stifled the scoring rate and Morton was needlessly run out for 21 - Paul Collingwood’s throw to the non-striker’s end proving effective after Chanderpaul had turned down a second run.
Bravo arrived to partner Chanderpaul and, after surviving a close lbw shout off Bresnan, the Trinidadian was soon into his stride with two effortless straight sixes off Mascarenhas.
But he soon became the fourth West Indian to fall as Bresnan succeeded with a second appeal for leg before.
Ramdin and Chanderpaul shared a partnership of 82 to prevent a repeat of the collapse at Bristol, yet they were unable to keep in touch with the required run-rate as it climbed above 10 an over.
Chanderpaul reached his half-century, from 96 balls, before West Indies took their batting powerplay in the 38th over, with 155 needed from 13 overs.
England responded by bringing back Broad and Anderson, and the former had Chanderpaul caught by Bopara at midwicket before Prior took a wonderful one-handed catch to dismiss Ramdin and hand Anderson his second wicket.
The double strike put paid to any lingering hopes West Indies had of a sensational victory and the subsequent run-outs of Pollard and Taylor merely added insult to injury.