Nottingham: England captain Alastair Cook praised his ‘outstanding’ teammate James Anderson after the fast bowler guided the home team to a nerve-wracking 14-run win over Australia in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge on Sunday. Australia’s chase on fifth and final day got dented mainly due to back-to-back blows by the English seamer.
     
Anderson bowled 13 straight overs before lunch, as he finished with an innings return of five wickets for 73 runs and a match haul of 10 for 158, and it’s for the second time in his 83-Test career that he has taken 10 or more wickets in a match.
     
A clash, beset by umpiring rows and controversy over the Decision Review System ended shortly after lunch on the fifth and final day, when England got umpire Aleem Dar's original not out decision overturned to have Brad Haddin (71) caught behind off Anderson.
    
"I always said that I would be the only England captain not to go bald in the job, but days like today won't help that," joked Cook at the presentation ceremony after Australia, 80 runs away from victory at 231 for nine, made England and a capacity crowd sweat in the Nottingham sunshine, thanks to the last-wicket stand of 65 runs between Haddin and James Pattinson (25 not out).
     
"Australia fought incredibly hard and a lot of credit to them for the way those guys batted today, but we just hung in there incredibly well, Jimmy was outstanding. He always wants one more over - I think 13 was probably quite a lot in that first hour,” Cook said.
     
Asked if England were over-reliant on Anderson, Cook replied, "No, not at all. He is a world-class bowler and you sometimes use him in these situations when you know there is a timeframe."
     
Cook also highlighted Ian Bell's second innings score of 109, which helped give England just enough runs to defend, as a key contribution to the match. "It was a real innings of character, determination and skill," Cook said.
     
Anderson's match figures were his best in Test cricket since he took 11 for 71 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2010. "I had the nerves going a little bit but I love bowling here, it's been good to me over the years and I'm happy that I could pick up some more wickets," Anderson said.

(Agencies)

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