CAPTAIN Andrew Strauss admitted his relief after his England side overcame the fixing row to complete a one-day series victory over Pakistan at the Rose Bowl.
Eoin Morgan’s fourth ODI century helped the hosts recover from 46-3 to post a challenging 256.
Spinner Graeme Swann and seamer Stuart Broad then claimed three victims apiece as England took six Pakistan wickets for just 31 runs to skittle the tourists out for 135 in 37 overs.
The triumph clinched a 3-2 series victory and proved the perfect tonic for Strauss’s men, who were this week accused of match-fixing earlier in the series by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt.
“There's no doubt that we’ve been to some pretty tough places over the past few weeks,” admitted the relieved England captain after leading his side to a sixth straight series win this summer.
“It’s been a crazy series and one that hopefully will never be repeated again. We’re delighted to have come out and won it.
“I think that’s a pretty good effort. It’s so hard to keep your consistency in all formats of the game. I think we’ve done outstandingly well.
“I think we’ve had to dig pretty deep at times, none more so than this series which is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to play in.
“For the guys to stick so close together through that and also win and win in this fashion is something I’m very proud of.”
Strauss was named Player of the Series after his 317 runs in the five matches, and the Middlesex player believes the controversy that has dogged the tour throughout the summer may actually benefit his men ahead of the Ashes series this winter.
“We can’t wait. This summer has prepared us well for that,” he said. “We’ve had to deal with a lot and we’ll have to do that in Australia.”