Graeme Swann felt England were rewarded for keeping a lid on growing tension during the fourth Investec Ashes Test before blowing Australia away on the fourth evening at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Chasing a target of 299 to keep the series alive, Chris Rogers and David Warner put on 109 for the first wicket before Swann removed the former for 49.
The off-spinner then trapped Usman Khawaja lbw but admitted arguments familiar to club cricketers across the land were bubbling under the surface before Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad stopped the Australian progress in its tracks and demolished the tourists’ middle and lower order.
“There’s a bit of tetchiness that starts to creep in,” a jubilant Swann told ecb.co.uk after England secured a 3-0 lead in the five-match rubber.
“It’s easy when things aren’t going well to start looking at each other. You start looking at the pitch and going, ‘why didn’t our batters get more runs’; the batters are going ‘why aren’t our bowlers bowling as well as they did?’.
“That inevitably starts to creep in but it was only for a miniscule amount of time because as soon as we came out after tea I thought we were exceptional.”
Sustained pressure came from both ends as Bresnan found extra pace and lift to remove Warner caught behind for 71 and Broad sensationally bowled Australia skipper Michael Clarke on his way to 6-50 and match figures of 11-121.
Swann pointed to the importance of those two wickets in the procession that followed
“I keep harking back to it but Stuart Broad does it when it really matters and he did it again today,” he said.
“I think Bressie’s wicket to get David Warner out was a bigger wicket because that opened both ends up for us.
“Michael Clarke is their best player; we know that, they know that. To get a delivery from Stuart Broad like that sends shockwaves through their dressing room.”
As for the England dressing room, Swann was planning a long night in there among friends and painted a heart-warming picture of the scenes within.
“You’re sitting up there with 10 of your best mates and you’re laughing and smiling and joking and taking the mickey out of each other,” he added. “It’s a wonderful place to be.”