England captain Alastair Cook credited the irrepressible James Anderson and some judicious use of the review system for delivering victory in a classic first Investec Ashes Test.
In a match that ebbed and flowed for the entirety of its four-and-a-half days and contained enough sub-plots for an entire series, England finally secured a 14-run win in the third over after lunch at Trent Bridge.
It may not have been quite as close as the unforgettable two-run success at Edgbaston in 2005 - a match that featured an equally tense run chase - but a defiant last-wicket stand of 65 between Brad Haddin (71) and James Pattinson (25no) had brought the tourists within a few blows of a famous win.
Instead, the indefatigable Anderson wrapped things up with his fourth wicket of the day, fifth of the innings and 10th of the match.
In a week that has been defined by DRS referrals, their interpretation by third umpire Marais Erasmus and the use of them by the rival captains it was fitting that England needed to go upstairs to have Haddin’s dismissal confirmed.
Had Cook frittered his two reviews away as easily as Australia have done at times here, the result may have been different.
At the close, a drained Cook was left to ponder Anderson’s heroics after he bowled 13 overs in a row in an energy-sapping morning burst and effectively finished Australia off on his own.
“We know all about Jimmy’s skill but his heart to keep running in on a hot day on a flat wicket was outstanding,” said Cook.
“He swings it both ways on an immaculate length and makes it very hard to score.
“When a bowler hits a rhythm you just keep asking him if he’s feeling alright.
“That’s why you do the training in the gym, that’s the bottom line, so when your captain needs you to do it you are physically fit to do it.”
As for the home side’s use of the much-debated DRS technology, Cook offered a clear-headed analysis.
There is no doubting that rash calls to the TV official can have a major impact on Test matches and Cook displayed near exemplary judgement in that regard.
“I think it’s pretty fair as there is a bit of skill in using DRS and you have to have a little human element,” he said.
“Tactically we have found that we have been quite poor with DRS in the past and in this game we’ve been a bit better.
“You have to be careful as a captain. Bowlers in the heat of battle think it is definitely out and you can waste them.
“It’s so important that decisions are right because they impact the game, and I think both sides feel that.”
He added: “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, because I’d much rather be sitting here with this result right now because of that last wicket than if we’re sitting here and lost and it had been given not out.
“That would be wrong for the game.”