Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Moeen Claims The Scalp Of Sangakkara For His First Test Wicket

Moeen Claims The Scalp Of Sangakkara For His First Test Wicket

Moeen Ali has claimed his first Test wicket for England – and it came from dismissing one of cricket's all-time great batsmen.

The Worcestershire all-rounder's moment of glory came on the third day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's from the final ball of his 15th over when he sent back Kumar Sangakkara.

The left hander had made a superb 147 from 258 balls when Ali ended his innings.

Sangakkara went to cut a ball that bounced and turned and he only succeeded in edging through to wicket-keeper Matt Prior who took a sharp catch.

Umpire Billy Bowden raised his finger and Ali could not conceal his delight at securing his first scalp as a broad grin broke out on his face.

He was mobbed by his team-mates as Sangakkara left the field to a standing ovation with the total on 385-5.

It was another plus point from Ali after he made an accomplished 48 in his first Test innings on Thursday in front of Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes and captain Daryl Mitchell.

At the end of the day he received a congratulatory pat on the back and handshake from England skipper Alastair Cook.

Former England captains Michael Atherton and Andrew Strauss, who are now both in the Sky Sports commentary box, felt Ali could be satisfied with his bowling efforts.

Atherton said: "That was a treasured wicket, Sangakkara, and he will remember that one for a while. He has done alright, he gets a bit of drift and a bit of loop and he has spun one or two.

"You would say he is a perfect second spinner at the moment, a perfect foil for a front-line spinner – which England did not select.

"You can't expect him in his first Test to run through this Sri Lankan side which plays spin so well but he has done alright."

Strauss said: "If you are going to play a spinner (a second spinner) like that, you need him to give you control and he hasn't bowled many bad balls and he has spun one or two balls."

Ali finished with figures of 1-56 from 16 overs as Sri Lanka were bowled out on the fourth morning for 453 to give England a first innings lead of 122.

But he made just four in England's second innings.

Ali lofted the first ball he faced from Herath back over his head for four but was bowled after the spinner tossed up his next delivery to leave England on 102-5.