Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Moeen Relishes County Return And Looking For Second Day Fightback

Moeen Relishes County Return And Looking For Second Day Fightback

Moeen Ali admits it was "nice to be back" playing for Worcestershire after a two month absence and the England all-rounder is hoping he can help to ease any end of season nerves at New Road.

Moeen scored a fluent 54 for the Division Two leaders on the first day of the LV County Championship clash with Surrey at New Road.

His side were bowled out for 272 after winning the toss with the visitors reaching 59-0 by the close.

Moeen said: "It was a good pitch. We lost too many wickets in the first session. I know we were scoring at a good rate but, on a day one pitch, you just want to get in and a few of us got in and then got out.

"I think we missed the boat today but hopefully tomorrow we can bowl them out and bat again.

"We should have gone on. The guys that got in should have gone on and got some runs but these kind of things happen and tomorrow we are going to have to fight with the ball.

"I felt alright. Obviously I haven't played four days cricket for a while so I was a bit rusty but I had a good session yesterday with Bumpy (Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes)."

Moeen, whose previous Championship appearance was at the end of June, said: "It was really nice to be back and hopefully try and get us promoted.

"Maybe they have felt a little bit more pressure but hopefully we can relax that now a bit.

"That's what I tried to do a little bit with batting today. I really wanted to make sure we got on top of Surrey just to ease the nerves.

"We kept losing wickets and getting back into trouble as we were going nicely.

"But we've got some really good players and hopefully going up to Division One will make us better players for next year."

Moeen was given a fine reception when he walked to the wicket – a contrast to the boos that greeted him for England's Twenty20 clash with India at Edgbaston 48 hours earlier.

He said: "Worcester is always like that. Since the day I got here, it's always been homely and it's something I really love about this place.

"Sunday has gone, I don't really think about it and hopefully it will never happen again.

"It (the booing) did not bother me one bit. I just tried to do the best I could for the team and at the end of the day we won the game and it is a better feeling winning the game than being booed.

"I wasn't too fussed to be honest with you. It didn't affect me one bit. I kind of expected it a bit. It is just one of those things. Hopefully in the future it won't be as bad, will slowly die down, and you see the same fans supporting England.

"Why did they boo me? I don't know to be honest. When a small group starts booing you, everyone just jumps on the bandwagon a bit and it just built up from there.

"Like I said, I don't care being honest with you. It doesn't bother me one bit. It would have been nice if they had been cheering rather than booing us. I just want to get over it and keep looking forward to playing for England again."