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February 23, 2013
England captain Alastair Cook heaped praise on fast bowlers James Anderson and Steven Finn after his side won the third ODI against New Zealand in Auckland by five wickets, and with it the series 2-1.
"They have been magnificent, these two games," he said after the match. "Finny's pace, I think, has been up around the 90mph mark pretty much all the time, and Jimmy's world class and he showed it again here."
Finn and Anderson left the hosts reeling at 11 for 3 by the eighth over and Cook said it gave the team a definite advantage. "I think they were 20 for 2 in the game before, and today they were 20 for 3 after 10 or 15 overs. From a captain's point of view it's pretty easy after that. When McCullum gets going, it's a little frustrating, but 180 wasn't enough and we handled the pressure of chasing pretty well."
Finn said it was great to form a partnership Anderson, whom he called one of the best fast bowlers in the world. "To be able to bowl at the other end and to feed off him and learn off him is brilliant," he said on Sky Sports 1. "We felt we didn't quite get it right in the first game - maybe we were a little bit rusty but playing these last few games we felt really good. We've set the tone early and the batsmen have been brilliant as well, so it's been great."
Cook also praised England's comeback in the series after they lost the first ODI by three wickets. "We showed a lot of character in these last two must-win games and that can only bode well for us in the future." He wanted England to maintain their level of focus as they prepared for three-Test series.
"We're going to have to do it again in the Test series because they're very dangerous players, and if we're off our game they're going to punish us. There's absolutely no complacency."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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