England talisman Andrew Flintoff praised the contribution of Matthew Hoggard and Ashley Giles as the eighth-wicket pair secured victory in the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.
Hoggard took the vital wickets of Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist early on in the day as the tourists were dismissed for 387, leaving England needing 129 for victory.
The hosts struggled towards that seemingly straightforward target and, when Geraint Jones crazily holed out to Michael Kasprowicz for three, they were 13 runs shy with no recognised batsmen left in.
However, Giles and Hoggard?s eighth-wicket partnership managed to secure the win to put England ahead in the series. Australia now need to win the final Test at The Oval to level the series at 2-2 and retain the Ashes.
Flintoff, voted man of the match after his first-innings century, said the nerves were getting to him as the hosts stumbled towards victory.
?I wasn?t doing very well. After I got out I sat next to Andrew Strauss and I was gripping him, hitting him, doing all sorts.
?It was a great Test match, Australia came at us again but Hoggard has been my hero today. He led the attack from the front, as did Ashley Giles. I?m very proud of those two for knocking the last runs off.?
Giles, who has been sorely missed by Warwickshire this summer, was also full of praise for Hoggard, who struck a four through extra cover off Lee?s full toss, saying: ?It was nerve-racking to be honest.
?I said to Hoggy I?ve never seen an extra cover drive [from him] in the six years I?ve played with him but there?s never been a better time. That was incredible.?
Asked whether he was feeling the pressure standing at the crease, the Warwickshire spinner added: ?It was a lot worse sitting in the dressing room than it is out in the middle.
?They?re shaking with nerves up there, the dressing room was very quiet, everyone was on edge and thinking ?this can?t be happening?.
?But once you get out there at least you feel like you?re a little bit in control of the situation.
?I thought Shane [Warne] would try to set me up with the quicker straight one so I just tried to keep my front pad out of the way and if he got it slightly wrong try to work it for a couple.
?He didn?t bowl me many leg-spinners, and Brett Lee bowling 90 miles an hourplus and reverse swinging is always going to be difficult, but I thought Hoggy played him fantastically well.?
England skipper Michael Vaughan conceded it had been a close-run thing.
?There were plenty of nerves in the dressing room and it was another epic game. Full credit to Australia for making it tough.
?Full credit to England too ? we?ve come across the challenges before but, in the past weeks, we have produced three outstanding performances.?
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been fined 75 per cent of his match fees of #5,000 for reacting angrily to being run out on the third day by substitute Gary Pratt. Team-mate Simon Katich was fined 50 per cent of his fee for dissent after his contentious lbw dismissal by umpire Aleem Dar.