EW STRAUSS proved his doubters wrong once again as his magnificent century helped England go 2-0 up in the one-day series with Pakistan.
It has been suggested that Strauss’s batting style is not suited to the limited-overs game, leading many to question whether he is the man to lead England into the World Cup on the sub-continent next year.
But the left-hander’s stylish 134-ball 126 silenced the critics and helped England surpass their victory target of 295 with three balls to spare in a thriller at Headingley.
England’s run chase was built on a tremendous 146-run second-wicket stand between Strauss and Jonathan Trott (53) before the middle to lower order saw the hosts home.
Pakistan themselves had relied on a morale-boosting opening partnership of 122 between Kamran Akmal (74) and Asad Shafiq (50).
But it was Strauss who stole the plaudits as he displayed a full repertoire of shots in a classy innings, which consisted of ten fours and a six.
“All I can do is do my talking with the bat and help England win cricket matches,” he said. “People can talk as much as they like. It’s pretty irrelevant to me.
“I’m very happy with my game at the moment, and even more happy we’re continuing to win.”
England had their work cut out to chase Pakistan’s 294-8 despite the Leeds sunshine offering little assistance to the bowlers.
Seamer Stuart Broad claimed four wickets, but went at over eight runs an over in his 4-81, while only James Anderson (1-36) offered any real control.
Strauss then took centre stage, but once he fell lbw to spinner Saeed Ajmal it was left to the middle order to see England home with Michael Yardy (13no) and Tim Bresnan (10no) both scoring crucial boundaries in a tense finale.