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Flower praises England "resilience"

Team director Andy Flower has hailed the grit and determination of England following their nerve-jangling victory over Australia in the first Investec Test.

A sell-out crowd at Trent Bridge witnessed a dramatic encounter, packed with shifts in momentum, that will surely go down as an Ashes classic.

England eventually came out on top, but only by a narrow 14-run margin after Australia had benefited from a substantial 10th-wicket stand for the second time in the game.

It was perhaps telling that Flower used the word 'resilience' on numerous occasions when assessing events in Nottingham and the challenges that lie ahead for England over the coming days.

"It was a sensational game," said Flower.

"I'm very proud of our team, obviously, for the resolve and the resilience they showed. They can take a lot of confidence from the way they held themselves, especially as our lead was whittled away.

"It's obviously great to come out on top and we can go to Lord's (which hosts the second Test from Thursday) with real confidence."

Flower is confident England can back up their Trent Bridge efforts with a strong showing at the home of cricket.

"That's why our guys work so hard on their fitness and they are mentally resilient - they have shown that," the Zimbabwean added.

"Over a number of Test match campaigns (they have) come out on top because of that resilience and I expect them to show that resilience at Lord's."

If certain observers were surprised by Australia's ability to remain so defiantly competitive, that was never the case within the England camp.

"We always knew this would be a tough battle. I'm sure it will be a tough fight for the remainder of the series," said Flower.

"We never for a moment thought that this match or the series would be a walkover."

Three members of the victorious home team were afforded particular praise from Flower.

Second-innings centurion Ian Bell and 10-wicket bowling hero James Anderson were the standout individual performers, while Alastair Cook oversaw victory in his first Ashes Test as captain, having held on to a trio of slip catches - including a blinder to dismiss Peter Siddle - on the fifth morning

"Cook led them well; he showed his strength and calmness as a captain again, not to mention his catching ability," reasoned Flower.

"Jimmy Anderson, particularly, showed again his skill and class with the ball and I must also make mention of Ian Bell's innings (which saw the 31-year-old compile 109 from 267 deliveries).

"He obviously showed real skill but also, I think more importantly, a real determination and courage out there in the middle to bat like he did."

The first of 10 Ashes Tests in six months could hardly have provided more seductive in terms of entertainment.

"We had full crowds here every day and I'm sure they'll be like that through the rest of the series," Flower concluded.

"For those people to create such a great atmosphere for the competitors to play in, but also for everyone on TV and radio hearing what was an amazing game of cricket and a special atmosphere - it's really great for the game of cricket that we have games of this type."

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