Friday, July 7th, 2017

Day To Remember For Sharp As Root And Moeen Sparkle For England

Day To Remember For Sharp As Root And Moeen Sparkle For England

Worcestershire Batting Coach Kevin Sharp had a day to remember as both new skipper Joe Root and Moeen Ali made runs on the opening day for England of the first Investec Test against South Africa at Lord's.

Sharp worked closely with Root during his formative years when a coach with Yorkshire and finally kept a decade old promise to watch him in Test action on the day he officially captained his country for the first time.

He ended the day unbeaten on a magnificent 184 not out from 227 balls with one six and 26 fours as England recovered from 76-4 to reach 357-5 off 87 overs by stumps.

But there was the added bonus for Sharp of seeing Moeen Ali make another crucial contribution in partnership with Root to tip the scales firmly in England's favour.

Ali had scored two centuries batting in the top five in England's last Test series against India at the end of 2016.

But he again showed his worth coming in at number seven by finishing the day unbeaten on 61 from 105 balls with five boundaries.

He came to the wicket at 190-5 and has so far put on 167 in 32.3 overs with Root.

Now the 30-year-old needs just 12 more runs to complete 2,000 in Test cricket.

Moeen needed 17 balls to get off the ball but batted fluently once he had swept spinner Keshav Maharaj to the boundary.

He then drove Kagiso Rabada for successive fours and brought up his half century off 81 balls. It was his 10th in Test cricket to go alongside five hundreds.