Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Moeen Hits Dazzling Half Century As England Gain First Win

Moeen Hits Dazzling Half Century As England Gain First Win

Moeen Ali gave another display of fearless hitting before being needlessly run out as England successfully chased down a 236 target in a rain-affected third One-Day International with Sri Lanka in Hambantot to gain their first win of the series.

The Worcestershire all-rounder followed up his 119 in the first game of the series by racing to a 29 ball half century.

He looked well set for another major knock but after making 58 – the top score of the innings – was run out by Alex Hales who had a brief spell on loan at Worcestershire last summer.

Moeen played Thisara Perera to mid off for a comfortable looking single and had almost got to the non-striker's end when he discovered a leaden-footed Hales had failed to react.

The 27-year-old had time to complete almost two runs but just failed to get back and was run out with the total 103-2 in the 15th over.

Moeen had struck five sixes and two fours in his 40 ball innings and again justified being promoted to open the innings with skipper Alastair Cook (34) with whom he shared an opening stand of 84 in 12 overs.

He has now hit a century and three 50s in his seven ODIs.

England suffered a mid innings wobble and found themselves 152-5 in the 24th over but Joe Root (48) and Jos Buttler (55) shared an unbroken stand of 84 in 10.3 overs to see England home with eight balls to spare.

Moeen had also done a tidy job with the ball in a game reduced to 35 overs after Sri Lanka had won the toss and elected to bat.

He came on first change and bowled his seven overs for 36 runs at a cost of 5.14 runs per over – the best economy rate of the seven bowlers used by England – and conceded only two boundaries.

There was a long delay for rain after just two overs of the Sri Lanka innings and their final total of 242-8 – thanks mainly to Kumar Sangakkara (63) and Lahiru Thirimanne (62 not out) – was adjusted to a 236 target under the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

England will now be looking to level the series in Colombo on Sunday.