Cook hails bowlers, flags Anderson return


Alastair Cook says England's bowlers made his job "pretty easy" after the tourists emphatically won the first Test at Kingsmead and the captain is optimistic James Anderson will return for the second Test.

Steven Finn finished the second innings with figures of 4-42 and man of the match Moeen Ali (3-47) took three wickets on day five as England bowled the Proteas out for only 174 in the morning session on Wednesday to win by 241 runs.

South Africa had started the day on 136-4 and Moeen got rid of the dangerous AB de Villiers (37) in the first over to set the tone.

The top-ranked side in Test cricket had lost six wickets for 19 runs when Dane Piedt was dismissed by Chris Woakes for a duck and Stuart Broad trapped Morne Morkel leg before to finish off the job and leave JP Duminy stranded on 26 not out.

Cook praised the recalled Nick Compton for his 85 on day one and also credited the work of his bowling attack, which is set to be bolstered by Anderson in the second Test at Newlands, which starts on Saturday.

"The lads played really well. I thought the way Nick Compton came back after an absence was outstanding and he was the rock so we could bat around him in the first innings, then we bowled well in both innings," Cook said.

"The bowlers mixed their pace and were relentless with their line around off stump. It's pretty easy to captain because you know they will deliver."

When asked about Anderson's fitness, the skipper added: "All reports are pretty good. It's been a tough week for him, bowling a lot of overs and with his rehab work.

"We have a tough decision to make in one sense, as it was a really good performance from one to 11. But obviously when you've got 420-odd wickets, hopefully he [Anderson] can be fit for Cape Town."

South Africa have called up all-rounder Chris Morris and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock for the second Test.