Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Moeen Hits Vital Half Century To Lead England Fightback

Moeen Hits Vital Half Century To Lead England Fightback

Moeen Ali came out on the right side of FIVE DRS reviews – three made by himself – to score a vital half century for England on day one of the first Test with Bangladesh in Chittagong.

The Worcestershire all-rounder was promoted to number five in the order and came in with England reeling at 21-3.

But he went to his fifty off 127 balls with two boundaries in an over off Kamrul Islam Rabbi and by that stage England had recovered to 154-5.

Moeen achieved his eighth Test 50 – in addition to three hundreds – in front of Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes who is part of the England coaching set-up in Bangladesh.

When on 46, he reached 1,500 Test runs in his 31st match at an average of 36 batting predominantly in the lower order.

The 29-year-old showed great patience and eagerness for a fight against an attack including former Worcestershire team-mate Shakib Al Hasan.

Moeen was on eight when he survived a DRS review by Bangladesh for lbw off Taijul Islam which went with the umpires call.

He was then given out three times in two overs from former Worcestershire all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan – all lbw from umpire Kumar Dharmasena but successfully reviewed each time.

Bangladesh's second review at Moeen's expense came when he was on 29 as replays showed a delivery from Mehedi Hasan Miraz pitched outside the line after another lbw shout.

Moeen smashed the same bowler for six over long on and four through mid wicket in his next over and then the two boundaries from Kamrul took him through to his half century as he gradually accelerated.

By tea Moeen had moved onto 61 out of 173-5 after adding an unbroken 67 with Jonny Bairstow (26) who completed 1,000 Test runs in the calendar year.

Moeen had earlier put on 62 for the fourth wicket with Joe Root.

His fine knock eventually came to an end on 68 when caught behind after a fine delivery from Mehedi spun and took the outside edge.

It means his last five Test innings have produced scores of 63, 86 not out, 108, 32 and 68.

The Moeen-Bairstow stand was worth 88 in 27.2 overs and England then stood on 194-6 in the 68th over.

England eventually closed the day on 258-7 from 92 overs.

Moeen said: "It was very tough. It was the hardest 60 I've ever made. They bowled well. They bowled very accurately and it's not just about surviving. It's about scoring runs.

"They were dirty runs. It was amassive mental challenge, especially with the reviews. I kept missing the ball and it hit my pad. I couldn't figure out why. It was a good mental challenge.

"I didn't think it was going to spin as much. You saw the new ball. It spun straight away and it's not easy to play against, especially the new ball, as not every ball spins.

"After that it spun, but more regularly, which makes it a bit easier. We said at one point that 250 might even be a good score but myself and Jonny had a crucial partnership.

"We are going to have to be quite greedy on day two and try and get close to 300."

In terms of the reviews, Moeen said: "It was a tough pitch to umpire on but what can I say. The guy gave me out three times!

"I knew I had hit the first one or gloved it and Joe Root saved me on the other two. You have the reviews to take so it is not luck."