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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

England captain Alastair Cook hails tireless bowlers

Graeme Swann (centre) celebrates a wicket
Swann (centre) was the pick of England's bowlers on the final day in Chittagong

England captain Alastair Cook praised the efforts of his bowlers as they helped seal a 181-run first Test win over Bangladesh in Chittagong.

Cook felt the energy shown to overcome a spirited home rearguard justified the decision not to enforce the follow-on.

"It wasn't easy in the last two days," Cook told Sky Sports. "Credit to our bowlers for sticking to the task.

"The follow-on was an easy decision. The bowlers needed a break and the way they ran in justified that."

Spinner Graeme Swann was the pick of the England attack, taking three wickets on the final day, including the key dismissals of Junaid Siddique and Mushfiqur Rahim, who had frustrated the tourists with a determined 167-run stand.

Swann's final-day efforts took his wicket tally to five for the second innings and 10 overall for the match.

It is the Nottinghamshire bowler's first 10-wicket haul for England and continues what has been a fantastic year for the 30-year-old, which has seen him claim over 50 wickets to lift him up to second in the ICC Test Rankings.

"In the last 12 months Swanny has been unbelievable and to keep turning in winning performances is amazing," said Cook. "To get 10 wickets on that pitch was an amazing effort.

"He has just got so much control of his game right now, he's very easy to captain.

We're going to enjoy tonight and focus on Dakar when we get there

Alastair Cook

"He knows the fields he wants and you trust him to wheel away, knowing he's going to make the breakthrough.

"If he keeps his feet on the ground, there's no reason why he can't be an England great and I'm sure he'll continue doing it."

Man-of-the-match Swann declared himself "quite happy" with his display, which represents the first time an off-spinner has taken 10 wickets for England since Jim Laker in 1956.

"It's been a good 12 months for me," he added. "I'm more than happy to keep on going."


Swann admitted that the victory had been "hard work" for the tourists, who had failed to take a wicket in yesterday's final session or before lunch on the final day.

"It was horrible [yesterday] taking no wickets, we were really struggling and this morning as well was tough," said Swann.

"It was hard work, and I think that's why [captain Alastair] Cook was justified in not enforcing the follow on."

Swann shouldered much of the bowling responsibility for the tourists, bowling 49 overs in the second innings alone, but he was assisted by seamers Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad and debutant Steven Finn, who battled hard in unfavourable conditions.

Broad had Abdur Razzak trapped lbw for his first wicket of the innings and Bresnan clamed his third scalp by having Naeem Islam caught behind by Matt Prior.

"All three seam bowlers kept running in on an unresponsive pitch and backed up Swanny fantastically," added Cook.

The manner in which England toiled in the latter stages of this match may lead to a selection rethink when they take their 1-0 lead in this two-match series into the second Test in Mirpur, Dhaka, which starts on Saturday.

For now though, skipper Cook is determined that his players enjoy their victory, adding: "We're going to enjoy tonight and focus on Dakar when we get there."

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Bangladesh v England photos
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England put Tigers under pressure
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Cook and Pietersen dominate Test
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