Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Moeen “had Point To Prove” After Omission From England Odi Squad

Moeen “had Point To Prove” After Omission From England Odi Squad

Steve Rhodes said Moeen Ali had "a point to prove" after his omission from England's ODI squad to face New Zealand as he smote 90 off 50 balls in Worcestershire Rapids 14 run win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Moeen opened at Wantage Road and five sixes and 11 fours as the Rapids amassed 211-3 in their 20 overs.

England have left the 27-year-old out of the five ODIs against the Black Caps so he can hone his game before The Ashes get underway next month.

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Ian Randall: "Moeen has got a point to prove, hasn't he.

"He was desperate to do well. He is desperate to do well all the time for us but certainly this game, having been left out of the one-day side.

"But you can't keep Moeen down. He is a guy who will keep coming back.

"He is an all-rounder so he has got two strings to his bow, two chances to play well, and certainly with the bat in this game he hit the ball very, very cleanly."

Moeen today tweeted: "Great win last night, loved every minute being back for @WorcsCCC!!!"

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell, who shared in a century opening stand with Moeen, tweeted: "If @MoeenAli can't get in the @englandcricket one day team it must be one hell of a side! #differentclass"

Rhodes gave credit to the Steelbacks for running his side so close as they closed on 197-7.

He said: "There have been two sides go toe to toe and it has been a magnificent spectacle for people who have turned up, a great advert for T20 cricket, 400 runs scored.

"I personally thought 211 was far too many so let's take our hat off to Northants because they put up a really brave effort.

"I don't think we bowled that badly and we had some really good plans as well and they kept coming at us.

"Let's not take anything away from the likes of Josh Cobb and the runs he scored, and Shahid Afridi down the order and Richard Levi at the top.

"We had a cushion but they were well up with the rate and weren't losing too many wickets and put in a really sterling effort to try and get there."

Saeed Ajmal, in his first game for the Rapids, since remodelling his action, turned the game in their favour by dismissing Cobb (80) and Afridi (15) in the same over and finishing with 3-53.

Rhodes said: "He got two vital wickets as well near the end. He had a bit of tap but we are really happy having Saeed.

"He is a real competitor, a feisty competitor on the field, a real winner and he proved it with those wickets he took for us which were crucial."