One of my most enjoyable wins as captain - Cook


Captain Alastair Cook praised the all-round contribution of his team as England secured a superb 141-run victory over Pakistan at Edgbaston to take a 2-1 lead in the four-Test series.

England trailed by 103 runs at the end of the first innings, but Cook, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali all contributed heavily in their second-innings tally of 445-6 declared to impose a daunting lead of 342.

And the home side then did the damage with the ball as all five frontline bowlers took two wickets apiece to leave Pakistan needing a victory in the final Test at the Oval to avoid a series defeat.

Moeen took the man-of-the-match award after his second-innings 86 and fine bowling display - including a terrific caught and bowled to remove Sohail Khan and wrap up the win - but Cook says the way everyone pitched in made it one of his most satisfying wins as skipper.

"The heavy roller at the beginning of day two took the pace out of the pitch," Cook told BBC Sport.

"We had to hang in there and stay in the game as there's always pressure batting fourth.

"We knew when we batted second time around it was flat, and although no-one got a hundred we all contributed and batted deep on day four, so we knew today we could put pressure on them.

"It's one of my most enjoyable wins as captain as everyone contributed."

Cook explained his decision not to declare overnight despite England's position of strength.

"I wanted a few more runs [this morning] as I didn't want to give Pakistan a sniff," Cook added.

"To score 300, someone would have to play exceptionally well, but they'd still have a chance, so I wanted another 30 or 40 runs."

Moeen believes his individual performance was the best he has played for England in 2016 after taking 2-49 on Sunday and making 50s in each innings with the bat.

"I think so. I went out and played my normal game," the all-rounder said. 

"I didn't mean to go out so quickly, it just happened. It's fantastic to be man of the match here. We thought their tail was quite long and if we got them five or six wickets down, we'd be okay.

"The man-of-the-match award could have gone to a number of guys. Somehow it's me, and I'm pleased. I just tried to play the situation. I never really thought about it too much."