It was a great advertisement for the sport: Strauss

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R Eshwar

Bangalore, Feb 28 (PTI) He still cannot decide how tolook at the result but England captain Andrew Strauss said, infinal analysis, the thrilling tie against India in a World CupGroup B match here was a great advertisement for one-daycricket.

Strauss, who struck a brilliant 158 to almostsingle-handedly guide England to a dramatic win while chasinga mammoth 339 last night, said it was a privilege to be a partof such a close game.

Asked if he was pleased with the result, Strauss said,"Yes and No. We were in a great position to win after 42overs. It was a tough target to chase. We got to a positiontowards victory at the end of the 42nd over, where we need tohave good powerplay runs.

"But it was a great game of cricket and greatadvertisement for the sport. Some ways we are happy, and someways distraught. But I am privileged to be part of this ODI.

It was an outstanding wicket to bat on."

"Coming into this game after the Holland performance, itwas a great bounce-back and showed everyone around thetournament that we''re going to be a force to be reckonedwith," said Strauss.

Asked about Ian Bell''s close shave when the batsmansurvived a close lbw appeal under the Umpire Decision ReviewSystem to contribute 69 valuable runs, Strauss admitted thatluck was with the right-hander.

"I do not know it was part of rules but it is luck thathe got away with that," Strauss said.

Strauss said his team seemed well on course for a victorybefore messing it up in the second batting powerplay.

"Powerplay can affect. In fact it affected both ways. TheIndians regrouped grabbing the situation. But we got tocelebrate the fact that it was an unbelievable act in cricket.

In a 50-over format you can get great performances from bothsides. Today both sides are happy party sides.

"Zaheer Khan produced a couple of good balls when itmattered. You need to give credit to the opposition as theyresponded well to the powerplay overs."

Strauss, adjudged the Man of the Match for his heroicknock, was all praise for Tim Bresnan, who picked up fivewickets apart from playing a cameo lower down the order.

"He was outstanding. There were some good performancesall round in batting, bowling and fielding. It was hard tostem the runs. Sachin played brilliantly. I think both teamswill carry some positives and negatives from the match."

Asked about his own innings, Strauss said, "It is my bestone-day knock, given the importance of the game and in thebackdrop of playing in the World Cup and chasing such a total.

In the end I was not really proud of. Of course, if I hadstayed we might have won. But that is the way cricket goes."PTI RE AH PM

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