Vaughan praises a true team effort
Michael Vaughan was delighted with his team's performance after England had dug deep to secure a draw on the final day of their series in the Caribbean. "I hope everyone is as happy as we all feel," said Vaughan, whose 140 was instrumental in protecting England's 3-0 series lead. "It's a fantastic achievement by all who contributed, not just the 11 who played but the whole squad and the support staff.
"We always felt like we had 12 on the field because of our support out here," said Vaughan, in reference to the thousands of England fans who made the trip. "We really appreciate that. It's been a historic tour. We are a young side and we must now build on this and drive forward for the New Zealand series in the summer."
England had entered the match with the prospect of inflicting West Indies' first home series whitewash, but that ambition was dramatically thwarted by Brian Lara's magnificent unbeaten quadruple-century. "It was a privilege to see Lara score 400," said Vaughan, "but we played very well, and now we are looking forward to a good one-day series. Hopefully we can take that trophy as well."
Lara had mixed emotions about his achievement, as he spoke to Sky Sports after the match. "I am very happy, but at the end of the day my spirit is still dampened by the series result. If we are going to learn from this game, we must put in the hard work and maybe get the result another time. All I want is to bring more cohesion in the West Indies team and our people. These performances, let's share them out, that would have more value than anything else."
The seven-match one-day series offers a new challenge. "We are now starting afresh and going to Guyana," said Lara. "We need to start on a positive note. That is important for me and this team. I think we have learnt from England how to put a game together. They have batted and bowled in partnerships and they have played like a team over all five days. We need to learn to play five days to win Test matches."
The Man of the Series award went to Steve Harmison, for his series haul of 23 wickets. He had entered the match with the prospect of breaking England's record of 27 wickets in the Caribbean, jointly held by Angus Fraser and John Snow, but could add only one more scalp on a featherbed of a pitch.
"There was talk of a record but a wicket like that is not breaking any [bowling] records," said Harmison. "I think Angus Fraser was happy in the commentary box. Before I came here I wanted to establish myself in the England team. I feel I have done that now and hopefully I can improve as a Test cricketer."