Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Moeen Plays Important Role With The Bat To Help Thwart Proteas Win Bid

Moeen Plays Important Role With The Bat To Help Thwart Proteas Win Bid

Moeen Ali played a crucial role with the bat to help dig England out of trouble on the final day of the Second Test with South Africa in Cape Town.

The Worcestershire all-rounder came to the wicket with England reeling at 116-6 in their second innings – an overall lead of just 118 with still 53 overs remaining.

But Moeen and Jonny Bairstow added an unbroken 43 in 22.2 overs before bad light and rain brought a halt to proceedings.

At that point England were 161 runs ahead with a minimum of 31 overs remaining  – and the players did not return before shaking hands on a draw.

Moeen dug in to score an unbeaten 10 off 60 balls with Bairstow 30 not out off 75 balls but their time in the middle and eating up of the overs was the most crucial factor.

It emphasised once again the value of having Moeen batting at number eight after his success in the role during the Ashes last summer before an unsuccessful spell as opener against Pakistan in the UAE.

He had a slice of luck early on when attempting to leave a delivery from Kagiso Rabada and the ball struck his bat and flew down towards the third man boundary for three runs.

But generally Moeen showed a solid bat to the Proteas attack on a final day which was more tense than had been anticipated after both sides had topped 600 in their first innings.

The overcast conditions made batting more challenging but England held on to maintain their 1-0 lead in the four-game series with two matches remaining.