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Wisden Cricinfo staff
September 25, 2004
Brian Lara was understandably ecstatic after West Indies' thrilling win in the Champions Trophy final, while Michael Vaughan gave full credit to Ian Bradshaw and Courtney Browne, whose partnership took them to victory:
On what this win means for the team
It's a great achievement for the team. They have been under a lot of pressure. To come out after a dismal summer and perform like this against England - the same team that has beaten us in seven out of eight Tests - is a tremendous effort. The guys showed a lot of character and it augurs well for the future. It's also an opportunity for the people in the Caribbean - wherever they are, whatever mood they're in, because of the strife there - to rejoice.
On what kept the team going despite being almost out of the match
I draw a comparison to the situation Deryck Murray and Andy Roberts were in the 1975 World Cup [a vital qualifier against Pakistan]. You have to draw on something. It's not the ideal situation to be in, but it's great to see the guys believe in themselves. They [Bradshaw and Browne] are both from Barbados, have played together in many matches, and you saw that experience come out.
On the catch to dismiss Andy Flintoff
It was majorly important, and would go up there with the best of them.
On this being possibly his last international match in England
I don't know if this is the last time for me in England. If they [the ICC] has planned nothing for the next two-three years, then it's a great way to end [my tours to England] on such a high. I have enjoyed playing in England, and have enjoyed the reception I've got from the people here.
On how the natural disasters in the West Indies affected the team
We are in England, covered and safe, while people in West Indies are fending for themselves. We've been sitting here, helpless, and we feel very sad for the people there. I think the guys have really come a lot closer. It's also helped that there are a lot of seniors in the side. Dillon, Collymore and Browne have all come back, and that's helped the team very much.
On the stand that turned the match around
To have them at 140-odd for 8 was great, but sometimes you have to take your hat off to the opposition. Browne and Bradshaw came in and played sensibly, and didn't give us a chance. We got a few that beat the bat, and a couple of lbw shouts, but you sometimes have to say that the oppostion played well. Their partnership was the difference between winning and losing.
On the decision not to try spin even for one over
I try and judge our bowling attack according to the given situation and the given wicket. We felt that on this pitch medium-pacers were the best bet - that's why Trescothick and Paul Collingwood bowled so much. They did an excellent job, and at 147 for 8 we had done the hard work. But that partnership took the game away from us.
On the decision to play on despite the fading light
We all wanted to finish the game today. They had a bit of momentum going as well. When you've got an opportunity to try and finish a game on a given day, you try and do that. Towards the end it got a bit dark. Steve Harmison was bowling at 96mph and they kept him out, so you have to give a lot of credit to the batsmen. Facing him on a bright sunny day is difficult; facing him in pretty dull light was a great effort.
On England's recent run of one-day success
When we look at the bigger picture and see how the guys played throughout the last few weeks, I think the guys can be very proud of themselves. We have a good break now, it's important that we rest our bodies and mind and prepare ourselves for what should be a fantastic winter.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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