LONDON // Andrew Strauss strongly feels England's dominance over West Indies this summer is as much their own doing as their opponents' failings. England cruised to a 1-0 NatWest Series lead with a comfortable six-wicket win in Bristol on Sunday and head to Birmingham intent on wrapping up their second 2-0 campaign win this month. Just as in the recent Test series, England's efforts were aided by West Indies' atrocious batting as they were dismissed for 160 with 11.3 overs unused.
Of the reason for the chasm which has developed between the sides, Strauss said: "That's for others to judge. We played very well and we would much prefer to focus on ourselves. "We put them under pressure and hopefully that's been the reason why we've kept on top. "If you have lost a lot and you get into a bad situation it can feel like 'here we go again'. "The reverse is also true: if you are used to winning and get on top of the opposition then it is a lot easier to be clinical and close out the victory."
Three wickets inside nine overs opened up West Indies' middle order early and despite a half-century from Dwayne Bravo, his dismissal in Paul Collingwood's first over sparked a collapse of six wickets for 32 runs. Collingwood finished with three wickets and an unbeaten 47. He will take over the England captaincy later this week when attention turns to the World Twenty20 but he paid tribute to the atmosphere Strauss has fostered following a turbulent start this year.
"Since he has come in, people will have seen we are putting on the performances out on the pitch and that is the important thing," said Collingwood. "The team ethos and the values we have got in the dressing room now are important, and very strong." * PA