Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Moeen Is Six Wicket Hero For England In 266 Run Win Over India

Moeen Is Six Wicket Hero For England In 266 Run Win Over India

Moeen Ali was England's bowling hero with four wickets in four overs in the 266 run success over India in the third Investec Test at the Ageas Bowl today.

The Worcestershire all-rounder finished with the superb figures of 6-67 in 20.4 overs as India were dismissed for 178 in 66.4 overs  as England levelled the series at 1-1 with two Tests to play.

Moeen has now taken 15 wickets in the series and he led the side off the field clutching a souvenir stump in his hand.

The news of his achievement was greeted with warm applause when announced over the PA system during Worcestershire's Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Derbyshire at New Road.

Moeen had struck twice yesterday evening in sending back Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli as India finished on 112-4.

Today the 27-year-old continued in the same vein.

Moeen broke through twice in the 61st over. He bowled Ravindra Jadeja for a duck after he inside-edged a tossed up delivery onto the stumps.

Then Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0) lunged forward and an inside edge ballooned off his pad to James Anderson who dived forward to take a good catch at gulley.

Moeen enjoyed more success in his next over when Mohammed Singh (0) backed away from a good length delivery and was bowled.

He then wrapped up the win two overs later when Pankaj Singh (9) played inside the line and was also bowled.

It was the cue for great celebrations from the England players who had outplayed their opponents for long periods.

England bowling coach David Saker had last night praised the performances of Moeen and believes he is "getting better and better" everytime he bowls for his country.

Saker said: "Moeen bowled well and it is really pleasing because he is getting better and better everytime he bowls.

"I think just a little bit of confidence in the last Test match (at Lord's) and the first innings here, and he is certainly a different bowler.

"He is working really hard and is bowling a bit straighter and he is getting some really good results."

England do not have a specialist spin bowling coach but Saker said: "We all talk about it and Peter Moores (head coach) has had a big impact in trying to make sure he bowls straighter.

"It's not unlike fast bowling, if you pitch the ball in the right area and bowl straighter and hit the stumps more often, you are going to give yourself more opportunities to take wickets and that's pretty much what we are about."

Moeen earned praise from former England captain Andrew Strauss.

He said: "From England's point of view, Moeen Ali looks a different bowler to the start of the summer. It feels like he belongs at this level.

"I felt all along it was important Alastair Cook treated him like a proper spinner, gave him some responsibility. If you do that, it is amazing how often people reward you with bat or ball."

Moeen first entered the attack last evening at 28-1 after 12 overs and he broke through with his second delivery.

Pujara on two fell to a great catch at slip by Chris Jordan who moved quickly and low to his right to hold onto the chance.

Moeen was reintroduced at 86-3 after 30 overs and in his second over back Kohli pushed forward and edged through to keeper Joss Buttler after making 28.

The 27-year-old finished the day with figures of 12-2-33-2.

England have named an unchanged squad for the fourth Test which begins at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday, August 7.

England (from): Alastair Cook (Essex,captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Sam Robson (Middlesex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).