Paul Collingwood put in a fine all-round performance as England beat New Zealand to qualify for the Commonwealth Bank Series against England and then set his sights on ending a torrid tour on a high.
After a dismal 5-0 whitewash in the Ashes and an equally poor start to the triangular one-day series, England have hit form with successive victories over Australia and the Black Caps.
Collingwood scored a fine 106 in the first innings at the Gabba before returning two for 46 with the ball as England closed out a 14-run win. The Durham man said: "It’s been a tough tour, a long tour and we wanted to finish on a high."
He added: "To put the performances in, in the last two games was important. We’re over the moon. We’ve got the World Cup coming up but we’ve got the best of three finals here and hopefully we’ll have a strong end to the tour.
"We’re learning all the time and we’ve put in two very good performances back to back."
Despite his heroics with the bat, Collingwood believes England booked their final place against the hosts thanks to their bowling.
"They were going well with only three wickets down but we got wickets at vital times at the back end. Nobody really got in and helped Stephen Fleming."
The 30-year-old also hailed captain Michael Vaughan’s return to the side after injury. He said: "He brings a calmness to the camp and he’s good to have around."
Vaughan, who missed the entire Test series against Australia and has been absent for the last five one-day games with a hamstring problem, was evasive about his own fitness but praised his players for their efforts.
"The hamstring is a bit touch-and-go but I’ll keep working hard and hopefully make the finals," said Vaughan who was out for a first-ball duck after receiving a jaffer from Shane Bond.
"That would be ideal - to get a couple of games, win the last couple and makes some runs. But if I keep getting deliveries like that I won’t make too many!
"Full credit to the whole team for the way they’ve responded in the last few days. To beat Australia in Sydney was real confidence boost.
"We got off to an average start but Collingwood and Strauss’ partnership was crucial. Colly will be a happy man. He’s had a tough few weeks but hopefully this is the sign of things to come.
"But we know we’ve got a lot of improving to do in the one-day game. Five days ago nobody gave us any chance of getting to the final but we beat Australia and a very strong New Zealand side."
Vaughan also praised Andrew Flintoff, who captained the side in his absence and bowled superbly to return one for 37 from 10 overs.
"Fred led really well with the ball," said Vaughan. "We didn’t hit them hard with the new ball but we’ve got a bit of fighting spirit and a bit of momentum."
Fleming, whose 106 did not prove enough in the Black Caps’ run-chase, felt a combination of good bowling and missed opportunities from his side had cost them dearly.
He added: "England bowled well - they came hard at us and we gave them wickets at the crucial times. If one of the hitters could have got going the momentum would have been good, but it was not to be. England bowled well and they made it tough to score.
"We could have nailed the game quite easily, but we kept giving England the opportunities and they took them."