Andrew Strauss, England's stand-in captain, has urged his team-mates not to let their guard down following an eight-wicket win over Pakistan at Trent Bridge. England need to win the final match on Sunday to level the best-of-five contest, and Strauss, whose 78 eased his side to their first one-day victory over major opposition all summer, was all too glad to welcome a rare win.
"We've worked very hard to get this first win and now it's really important we build on it," he said after the game. "We've got to do the things we did well today again at Edgbaston. I certainly don't think anyone will be taking their foot off the accelerator. With the exception of our last few overs, it was excellent. We put them under pressure and were able to take wickets in the middle which is very important for one-day cricket. And then a clinical performance at the end there, keeping up with the rate and not losing early wickets. When you win it all seems quite simple."
Strauss did not forget the fact that it was only England's fifth ODI win in 25 matches. With the World Cup beckoning, he said it was vital for England's future success that they didn't just rely on their established stars. "Trescothick is a very important one-day player for England but, as we've found with all the injuries we've had over the last 12 months, you can't rely on one or two players," he said. "You've got to be able to get performances from all round the team. Hopefully we can do that in India and hopefully this win will give us a bit of momentum."
Michael Yardy, who snared 3 for 24 with his left-arm spin, said he was simply "loving" the switch from medium pace to spin. "October 2004, I switched. My seam bowling wasn't going anywhere so I thought I'd try spin and it's worked pretty well," he said. "I've had a great day today but I'm not looking too far ahead." And Strauss added: "He's come in and done a great job. He proved again he can transfer his county form into one-day international cricket which is not easy to do. To bowl like he did in his first game was very impressive."
The match was not without minor controversy. When on 5, Strauss edged Mohammad Asif and Inzamam-ul-Haq claimed a catch at first slip. Strauss stood his ground, adamant that the ball had not carried. Eventually the umpires called for replay assistance and, with pictures inconclusive, third umpire Ian Gould gave Strauss not out.
Bob Woolmer, Pakistan's coach, felt all replays should be shown to the crowd on the big screen. "When they showed the replays, there were two views of it. One looked not out, the other looked out," he said. "If they are going to show one view they should show the other on the screen or not show anything at all. I think it was one of those catches where you think you've caught it. Because it's so close to the ground, you can't make a rational judgment."
However, he said he had no issues with Strauss's decision to stay put: "I think Strauss, if he thought it hit the ground, had every right to stay there quite frankly. One-day cricket can be a lottery but England were better than us."