Alastair Cook pleased with series-clinching win

Alastair Cook pleased with series clinching win
Stuart Broad's (left) six-wicket haul titled the game in the favour of England.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

England captain Alastair Cook is pleased with the manner in which his team won the third Test in Johannesburg to take a series-clinching 2-0 lead in the four-match series against South Africa.  

Riding on a six-wicket haul by Stuart Broad, England bowled South Africa out for 83 runs in their second innings and chased down the target of 74 runs in just 22.4 overs to claim a seven-wicket victory.

The win in Johannesburg marked the first series win for England in five attempts since they beat India 2-1 in 2012.

Stating that the feeling of beating South Africa in their own territory has not sunk in yet, Cook stated that once England went past the Proteas' first inning score, he was confident of pushing for a win.

“No, it (winning away from home) doesn’t (happen very often).

“It hasn’t sunk in yet at all.

“We knew today would be ‘moving day’ in one sense.

“The challenge was to get up close to them and try and pile pressure.

“If Root would have got in and built a partnership with Jonny (Bairstow), it could have been different.

“On that wicket you saw how hard it was to start.

“As soon as we got level with them, I felt we are in the game."

The England captain also heaped praise on Broad who bowled an amazing spell and ended up with incredible figures of six wickets for 17 runs which fetched him the man of the match award.

“We bowled beautifully just before lunch.

“Trev (Bayliss) then gave us a rocket and said, ‘If you want to win the series, go now and go hard.’

“Stuart (Broad) picked his legs up, backed up obviously by Jimmy (Anderson).

“Broady got the wickets and he’s got the ability to turn a game so quickly.

“When they were six down, it was almost job done I think.”

Having lost the Test series in Pakistan last year, Cook said that the England team deserved better results for their efforts and is pleased with the win in South Africa.

“I am really proud of the lads and also very pleased for them.

“As I said, Pakistan did not go our way and I felt we deserved more out of it.

“Here we got our rewards for sticking together and playing good cricket.”

Another important contribution for England came from Ben Stokes who hit a fluent half-century in the first innings and backed it up with five wickets in the match.

Lauding Stokes for his all-round abilities, Cook is happy with the way the 24-year-old bounced back from the injury he sustained in Abu Dhabi.

"I can't take any credit for man-managing Ben Stokes.

"He's off the leash tonight, but he's an absolute gem in the side.

“The ability to score 250 one day then bowl almost 90mph, swinging both ways, when it's time to balance the attack, a lot of people would want that in your side.

“When he got injured in Abu Dhabi, to come back here and do what he's done, it's amazing.”

England were 64 for naught at one stage during the chase but lost three quick wickets but Joe Root and James Taylor ensured an easy victory in the end.

Citing the importance of getting a good start in tricky chases, Cook was pleased with the kind of start he and Hales gave England in the second innings.

“Little frustrating to get out towards the end but those little chases can cause a little bit of panic if you don’t get off to a good start.

“It was really great that myself and Hales, we really settled the nerves.

“It just proves that on that wicket you can get out at any stage.

“But, great for the lads, I am really pleased.”

The seven-wicket victory in the third Test also made it the first time since 2004-05 that England have managed to win a bilateral series against South Africa.

© Cricket World 2016