Ashes 2013: England win first Test by just 14 runs


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The Independent Online

James Anderson secured victory for England by 14 runs in the first Investec Ashes Test in a gripping encounter against Australia at Trent Bridge.

Tireless Anderson (five for 73) bowled 13 successive overs on an agonising final morning, his burst of three wickets for six runs helping to give him 10 in the match.

But in the end it needed yet another DRS referral, in this epic contest dominated by them, to ensure England's pace lynchpin ended the late heroics of Brad Haddin (71) in a 10th-wicket stand of 65 with James Pattinson as Australia were bowled out for 296 just after lunch.

There were unmistakeable echoes of Edgbaston 2005 - when England famously prevailed by just two runs in similar circumstances - by the time Anderson had Haddin caught behind off an inside edge after Aleem Dar had initially given the Australia wicketkeeper not out.

Anderson's accomplice this morning, after almost an hour had elapsed with no joy - and plenty of concern for any Englishmen in a sold-out crowd - was Alastair Cook, with three catches at first slip.

It was only right that captain should properly reward his pace lynchpin, after asking near superhuman efforts of him from the Radcliffe Road end.

Cook heaped praise on "outstanding" Anderson after the fast bowler guided England to a nailbiting 14-run win over Australia in the Investec Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge.

Anderson showed admirable stamina as he bowled 13 successive overs on the final morning, his burst of three wickets for six runs helping to give him 10 in the match.

His final wicket was in keeping with a match littered with twists, turns and controversy, with a DRS referral needed before Brad Haddin (71) was ruled to have got a slight edge to Matt Prior behind the stumps.

"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," Cook said at the post-match presentation.

"Jimmy was outstanding. He always wants one more over - I think 13 was probably quite a lot in that first hour!"

Asked if there was an over-reliance on Anderson, Cook said: "No, not at all. He's a world-class bowler and you sometimes use him in these situations when you know there's a timeframe. He had an amazing rhythm in this game.

"But [Stuart] Broad and [Steven] Finn have done outstandingly well for us over a huge amount of time, but it just happened to be Jimmy's day and Jimmy's game. Sometimes it happens like that."

Ian Bell's second-innings 109 also came in for praise from the skipper.

"It was a real innings of character, determination and skill," he said.