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Being booed was horrible: Vaughan

cricket Updated: Apr 18, 2007 13:48 IST

IANS
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Michael Vaughan confesses it was a horrible feeling to walk off the stadium and get booed by disappointed English supporters after his team's nine-wicket defeat against South Africa in a Super Eight match of the World Cup.

The rout at the Kensington Oval on Tuesday meant that England had conceded their slim hope of reaching the semi-finals to the Proteas.

"I have been a supporter at a football stadium, and watched England teams that haven't produced a winning performance, and they have had to face the same treatment from fans," the England skipper told reporters at the post-match news conference.

"So I understand why the fans have given us that reception. We have not produced the performances, and this is a massive letdown in a tournament in which they expected us to produce something.

"I felt we had the players with the talent and the right attitude that could do it on the big stage, and we haven't done it, so we have to accept whatever criticism comes our way."

Vaughan admitted that his side would have to acknowledge they have not got the best out of their ability in the competition.

"At 111 for three with 18 overs left, we felt we were on course for a total of 230 to 240 which we felt would have been sufficient.

"Unfortunately, a batting collapse happened again, and this has been our story at the World Cup. We have got into decent positions and have not been able to capitalise on them."

Andrew Hall collected career-best figures of five wickets for 18 runs from 10 overs to undermine England's batting and turn the match decisively South Africa's way, as England, choosing to bat, were dismissed for 154 in 48 overs.

"We knew exactly what Andrew Hall was going to produce and know a lot about the South African attack," he said.

"Our strategy was to target 230 or 240 if we won the toss and batted, then try to put South Africa under pressure if we did that.

"I thought we handled it well until 111 for three, and then we lost the two guys that had got stuck in (Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood), and it is always difficult for the new guy that's coming in when the ball is 'reverse-swinging'.

"There is no excuse why we did not play it well at all. We have players who have faced that kind of bowling before, and they should be able to adapt, but we did not adapt that well in this match."

Vaughan feels winning the three-nation limited-overs series at the tail end of their tour of Australia earlier this year was a false dawn.

"There needs to be a lot of honesty at this time," Vaughan said. "The England team has had a disappointing six months.

"We got hammered in the ICC Champions Trophy in India last year. We went to the Ashes with a lot of expectations and lost 5-0.

"And I guess we held on the four victories we had in ODI series in Australia, and smiled our way on the flight home feeling that it was a great time coming to the World Cup, since we were playing well."

Vaughan believes being knocked out of the World Cup in the manner that his side has been does not justify the talent in the England dressing room.

"This is something which we have to examine," he said. "Ww have performed at a standard that is not acceptable."

England now face hosts West Indies Saturday at Kensington Oval to bring the curtain down on the Super Eight stage of the competition.

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