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Alastair Cook praises Ben Stokes for his heroics in the first Test against Bangladesh

Shyam Sunder
834   //    24 Oct 2016, 22:15 IST
Alastair cook Ben Stokes
Cook was quick enough in praising the fiery all-rounder

England cricket team defeated Bangladesh in the first of the 2-matchTest series in Chittagong on Monday. Alastair Cook's men pulled off an unlikely victory after some dismal performance in the first innings. However, the team gelled up together in the second innings and Ben Stokes took the center stage on the final day as England marched towards the victory line in an exciting contest.

Bangladesh needed 33 runs to win coming into the fifth and final day of the first Test at Chittagong against a gritty English side that had them eight down by stumps on day four. Bangladeshi hopes were riding on Sabbir Rahman as the debutant was the last recognized batsman playing in the middle.

However, Stokes looked to be in a hurry as the big all-rounder struck twice in three balls in the fourth over of the morning and gave England a 22-run win on Monday, bowling the hosts out for 263 runs.

Also read: Moeen Ali rescued thrice in three overs

Cook was quick enough in praising the fiery all-rounder and said that he was the deciding factor in the first Test match. Cook was quoted by Cricbuzz as saying, "The guy is that X-factor cricketer that every side would love to have. He balances our side and gives us options.

“He allows us to play the extra seamer here or the extra spinner." Stokes was adjudged as man of the match for picking up 6 wickets in the match and scoring a crucial knock of 85 runs in the second innings.

Cook said that he was extremely delighted with Stokes's approach against the spin bowlers in the tour so far. "The one thing he has done over the last year is improve his method against spin. In the one-dayers, it surprised me how well he scored that hundred and it gave me a lot of confidence. It showed what a load of hard work can do and he takes a lot of credit from that," he said.

Also read: How the track at Chittagong made the Bangladesh and England battle enthralling

Coming into the final day's play, the Bangladeshi would have wanted Sabbir to take the majority of the strike. However, Cook's ploy was pretty clear as he was reluctant to allow Sabbir taking the strike.

"I was fairly confident this morning, if I am brutally honest," he said. "I thought we would create the two chances but the doubt was whether we were good enough to take those half-chances. I was fairly relaxed. The crucial moment was beginning of day three, where they were 70 or 80 behind with five wickets down and we managed to get a lead. That proved the difference," Cook was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

Cook mentioned that he was pleased with the performance but wouldn't term it as the best victory under his captaincy. He went on to say that the team was looking to rectify the mistakes so that they are well prepared for their series against India later this year.

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