Cook can sleep easy thanks to win
Alastair Cook was expecting a sound night’s sleep after leading England to victory in the first one-day international against Bangladesh.
Cook, captaining in an ODI for the first time, saw his side chase down 229 for victory at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, thanks in main to his own rapid 64 and Paul Collingwood’s controlled 75 not out.
Since taking charge of the side for the tour, Cook has admitted to staying up at night pondering the vagaries of field positions and bowling changes.
But a six-wicket triumph with four overs remaining in the first competitive match of the trip seems likely to cure that.
“It’s a really nice feeling, sitting here after a win and really good team performance,” he said.
“I’ll enjoy tonight and I’ll sleep very happily. It’s very rewarding because as a captain you get judged on your results and today was a good day for me.”
Cook, whose own impressive knock was ended prematurely by a surprising lbw decision, also paid tribute to the continuing quality of Collingwood.
Tamim Iqbal’s fine 125 aside, the final scorecard had a convincing look to it for England, but they were 96 for three soon after Collingwood’s arrival and his innings was one of considerable importance.
Assessing his vice-captain’s influence, Cook said: “He’s our most senior player, he showed his class again in the way he saw us home from what was a potentially very tricky situation.
“It was pure class. He was fantastic out in South Africa and he’s carried on that fantastic form here.
“He knows his game really well and knows to take risks, as he showed today. He took the right options again and again and has been doing that for the last 18 months or two years.
“It’s very reassuring having him come in at four, knowing what he can do.”
Cook had words of encouragement for opening partner Craig Kieswetter, who was stumped for 19 on his international debut.
Having looked a class apart for England Lions in the United Arab Emirates and then scored 143 in his first warm-up appearance for the senior side, it was a less startling display than those he has become accustomed to.
Cook’s own quick-fire start, as well as Shakib Al Hasan’s decision to bowl spin at him from the off, perhaps did not help, but his captain is unconcerned.
“I nicked the first three overs, which didn’t help him, and he probably didn’t think his first ball in international cricket would be spin, but we got a good start,” said Cook.
“Craig’s a fantastic player and he will have his day, as he showed the other day in the warm-up.”
Tamim, whose astounding century included 13 fours and three sixes, now has three ODI tons at the age of 20.
And the dashing opener has warned England there is more to come from both him and his team-mates.
“It was one of the best innings I have played but I think the best is yet to come,” said Tamim. “I am enjoying playing international cricket and I am hoping to score lots of runs in the future.
“We were going really well at the start but from then on we just kept losing wicket after wicket and the guys who have been in form didn’t make big scores.
“But I really trust our team. We have been working really hard and we hope any mistakes we made in this game will not repeat in the next one.”
The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via ecb.co.uk, and in store from April 29