ALASTAIR COOK spoke of his pride at joining Test cricket’s all-time batting greats after he broke the 10,000-run barrier in England’s nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street.

Cook became the first Englishman to score 10,000 Test runs as his unbeaten 47 helped England claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in their opening series of the summer.

The England skipper is one of only 12 players in the history of Test cricket to have achieved the landmark, and having managed just 31 runs in his first two innings of the summer, he admits reaching the seven-figure mark had been preying on his mind.

He broke into a broad grin as he flicked Nuwan Pradeep into the leg-side, before raising his bat to his family and friends who were gathered in the Don Robson Pavilion.

“It was a feeling of satisfaction,” said Cook, who also broke Mike Atherton’s record for the highest number of runs scored as England captain. “Clearly everyone has been talking about it over the last few weeks.

“Maybe I wasn’t able to do it in the style I might have wanted - it would have been fitting to do it with a bigger score - but that shouldn’t take away from it.

“It shouldn’t play on your mind, but it has, I can’t deny that. It is obviously a very special moment for me personally, to join the club and be in the company of the great players that have scored 10,000 runs, it certainly means a lot.”

Cook has come through a number of testing moments during an England career that started when he made his five-day debut in India in 2006.

He succeeded Andrew Strauss as England skipper in 2012 and has maintained an average in the high-40s despite batting at the top of the order and facing the best new-ball bowlers in the world.

“The 10,000 has been a milestone that’s certainly driven me over the last few years,” he said. “As a batsman at the top of the order, you get tested in all conditions against the best bowlers in the world with the new ball, and I’m proud that I’ve managed to hang in for long enough and scored enough runs not to have got dropped.

“In one sense, you’ve still got things to prove, and Jimmy (Anderson) has always said that no matter how many wickets he gets, it’ll still be the same.

“Your next innings is what you really look for, but I can look back today and be very happy with what I’ve achieved. Hopefully, there’ll be a few more runs to go and a few more hundreds as well.”

Cook’s team-mates were quick to pay tribute to his achievements, with Anderson leading the chorus of praise after picking up the Man-of-the-Match award.

The paceman reached a notable landmark himself this afternoon, with his dismissal of Rangana Herath, who was trapped leg before, representing his 450th Test wicket.

“It’s an amazing achievement and something that’s very special not just for Cooky, but for all the guys who have played with him and watched him along the way,” said Anderson.

“It’s just a phenomenal achievement. I think the highs and lows you go through to play that amount of cricket to get those runs is testament to Alastair and his mental strength, as well as his skill and class as a batsman.”

Anderson finished with second-innings figures of 5-58 and was the pick of England’s bowlers by a distance as Sri Lanka threatened to make things difficult on a docile Riverside pitch.

Having failed to reach 120 in their three previous innings, the tourists made 475 to set England a victory target of 79. Alex Hales perished for 11, but Cook and Nick Compton successfully saw their side home.

“It’s been a good two weeks,” said Cook. “To win a game by an innings and then to win by nine wickets has been a good effort.

“It was tough actually. That pitch died a death, and was a bit more like Colombo than the Chester-le-Street we’ve known in the past. They made us work hard for it, but I suppose it’s sometimes a bit sweeter if you feel as though you’ve earned your beer tonight.

“It was a good team effort. It was slog yesterday and today, but it’s good to have a bowling attack that can adjust to certain conditions, and for Jimmy to get five for 50 on that wicket just showed his class.”

The final Test at Lord’s is now effectively a dead rubber, but England have named an unchanged 12-man squad for the game that starts a week on Thursday.