Captain’s praise as England go so close

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Alastair Cook hailed his bowling attack after England almost snatched a last-gasp win over Sri Lanka in the first Test at Lord’s.

England agonisingly ran out of time, one wicket short of victory, as their new Test era began with a nerve-jangling stalemate in north-west London.

James Anderson’s burst of three wickets for one run either side of tea helped keep the outcome of this first Investec Test in doubt to the very last ball, as the tourists clung on at 201 for nine in notional pursuit of a ground-record 390.

“I can’t praise the lads enough,” Cook said.

“That was a flat wicket and we had to wait for the ball to reverse swing.

“It finally got dry enough and did and Jimmy bowled really well.”

However, despite the efforts of England’s pace attack, Cook admitted his side could have profited from the inclusion of a frontline spinner.

He said:“The mainline spinner could have made a difference but the players we have available for selection this is the way we have to go and that’s what we have to accept and I can’t praise the lads highly enough.”

Sheffield’s Joe Root, who was named man of the match for his double hundred, believes no-one can now accuse Cook’s side of being boring.