Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Man Of The Match Award For Moeen As England Go Close To Forcing Win

Man Of The Match Award For Moeen As England Go Close To Forcing Win

Moeen Ali lifted the official man of the match award as England came close to forcing victory on the final day of the opening Test with India in Rajkot.

The Worcestershire all-rounder was rewarded for his exploits with bat and ball during the five days.

Moeen hit his third Test century of 2016 to help rescue England from 102-3 and reach 537 in their first innings.

He was finally dismissed for 117 from 213 deliveries with 13 fours after adding 179 with Joe Root and 62 with Ben Stokes – the other two first innings century makers.

The 29-year-old spinner then bowled a probing and accurate line throughout both of India's innings.

He finished with overall figures of 50-12-132-3 – an economy rate of 2.64 runs per over.

Moeen's one success today saw him account for Rahane Ajinkya (1) who went back to play an attempted cut and was bowled leg stump via his pad with a delivery that turned back in.

That left India on 71-4 after they had been set a target of 310 in what became 53 overs after Alastair Cook had become England's fourth century-maker of the game.

They closed on 172-6 with three balls remaining when the two captains shook hands.

Moeen said: "It was a very good pitch. At lunch (on the first day) we were three down, and I had to get stuck in and I enjoyed batting with Rooty (Joe Root).

"We had been in Bangladesh and we feel we prepared very well.

"I think the spinners bowled very well. We didn't go for many runs, especially in the first innings which was important.

"Looking forward to the next four Tests, the guys are confident and bowling quite well.

"I thought we also played spin very well throughout the Test. We had four hundreds, which is very encouraging, and a brilliant debut from Haseeb (Hameed)."