Monday, August 31st, 2015

Man Of Match Moeen Marks T20I Return By Smashing Unbeaten 72 Against Australia

Man Of Match Moeen Marks T20I Return By Smashing Unbeaten 72 Against Australia

Man of the match Moeen Ali marked his return to T20I cricket with a superb unbeaten 72 in England's one-off clash with Australia at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff this afternoon.

The Worcestershire all-rounder went in at number three and smashed three sixes and six fours in his 46 ball knock as England triumphed by five runs.

It was Moeen's first T20I appearance for 12 months and helped England to reach 182-5 in their 20 overs.

A superb final over from Ben Stokes, in which three wickets fell – two of them to run outs – saw England across the finishing line.

A partnership of 135 in just 13 overs between Moeen and skipper Eoin Morgan helped England recover from the early loss of Jason Roy and Alex Hales after Australia had chosen to field.

Moeen got into his stride with a six over square leg off Marcus Stoinis and then pulled his next delivery for four through mid wicket.

He collected successive boundaries off Nathan Coulter-Nile and a straight six off spinner Cameron Boyce brought up the 100 in the 14th over.

Moeen plundered the spinner for another six and four in an over costing 19 runs and went to his 50 off 31 balls.

Morgan was equally destructive in making 74 off 39 balls before the partnership was broken.

Moeen went through a spell between overs 14 to 18 when he only faced seven deliveries but ended with a flourish.

His knock earned praise from former Worcestershire all-rounder and Director of Cricket Tom Moody who is working as a commentator for Sky Sports.

Moody said: "Moeen has got those real Asian wrists, is beautiful to watch, always good on the eye when he is timing the ball and playing shots around the ground.

"In my view, Moeen is a very destructive player when he has got that freedom to go after the ball. That is why he was so dangerous in the Tests coming in at number eight.

"He was coming in when he had nothing to lose, not having the responsibility of a number five or six, and with nine or ten at the other end, you've got that freedom and Moeen is best like that."

Moeen was brought into the attack for the 14th over of Australia's reply with 59 needed from seven overs and he struck with his first delivery.

Glenn Maxwell (44) went for a big hit and was brilliantly caught by Ben Stokes at long on in an over costing just three runs.

It was his only over and, after the dismissal of former Worcestershire T20 player Steve Smith for an excellent 90, Australia lost their way as England held their nerve in the 'death' overs.