England v West Indies: Strauss hails Bresnan as hosts win series
England captain Andrew Strauss hails all-rounder Tim Bresnan, who took eight wickets in the second Test win against West Indies
Andrew Strauss heaped praise on England’s Tim Bresnan after the all-rounder took eight wickets to help the home side secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Test series against West Indies at Trent Bridge on Monday.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels were at the crease when the tourists resumed on 61-6, and England knew that securing the wickets of the duo early on would be enough to gain a simple victory.
Bresnan took the wicket of Sammy to help Strauss’ side make a bright start, before West Indies were all out for 165, leaving Jonathan Trott to complete England’s victory and give the home side a 2-0 lead heading into the final Test at Edgbaston.
“Tim Bresnan was fantastic,” Strauss told the BBC. “He showed what a good contributor he is for the side in both innings, and he chipped in with the bat as well.”
“We’re delighted to get over the line. It was quite hard work at times.
“It’s been a hot, hard four days and there were some really good performances from the lads. You always like to be a bit more clinical, but we did the job in the end.”
Only Samuels, who finished on 76 not-out from 160 balls, which included one over where he dispatched England’s Graeme Swann for 16 including two hefty sixes over long-on, gave the Caribbean side anything to smile about.
The tourists were always going to struggle to give England a target to chase after their collapse on Sunday afternoon, and when tail-ender Ravi Rampaul skewed a James Anderson delivery to Bresnan at third slip to bring their innings to a close, England were set a simple task of knocking off 108 to win and seal the three-match series.
Strauss and fellow opener Alastair Cook made sure there were no jitters in England’s run chase, as they sailed along to 74 without loss at tea.
Yet a 10-wicket victory was not going to ensue, as following the tea interval, Strauss lofted a drive to extra cover just five runs shy of a half-century, giving Samuels a consolation wicket.
The ever-dependable Trott emerged in the late afternoon sunlight to help Cook steer England through to a nine-wicket victory and an unassailable lead in the series.
Cook finished on 43 not out, while Trott hit the winnings runs down to fine-leg and finished on 13 in front of a sun-drenched Nottingham crowd who were in fine voice.
The final Test of the three-match series starts next Thursday at Edgbaston, and the tourists will have to find a new vein of form to avoid a probable whitewash, while Strauss admitted he faces a selection dilemma ahead of a busy summer of cricket.
“It’s always hard to decide the workload of our bowlers. We’ll have to look at how they are feeling but first and foremost we want to win the Test match,” he added.