Friday, June 1st, 2018

Moeen Returns Career Best List A Figures But Rapids Go Under

Moeen Ali returned his best figures in List A cricket but table-topping Worcestershire Rapids went down by 38 runs to Notts Outlaws in a Royal London One-Day Cup North Group match at Trent Bridge.

The England all-rounder celebrated his call-up for the ODI squad to face Australia by returning 4-33 from his 10 overs as the Outlaws were bowled out for 202.

It surpassed his previous best List A figures of 3-28 – also against the Outlaws on the same ground in 2013.

But then the Rapids ran into trouble in their reply and lost a steady stream of wickets despite another 50 plus score from Daryl Mitchell on a slow pitch and more late defiance from Ed Barnard (36).

They were eventually dismissed for 164 in the 48th over.

Moeen was well supported by the other slower bowlers in Brett D’Oliveira (2-46) and Mitchell (2-19) as the Outlaws lost their last seven wickets for 56 runs in 18 overs.

Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach opted to bowl first and he shared the new ball with Charlie Morris as the Rapids named an unchanged line-up.

Alex Hales, returning from the IPL to play his first game of the season for the Outlaws, and Rikki Wessels put on 44 during the first 10 over powerplay.

It was Ed Barnard who made the first breakthrough as Hales (21) lost his middle stump and it became 53-2 when Tom Moores (9) was caught at mid on by Leach off Morris who bowled a seven over opening spell.

Wessels and Ross Taylor joined forces and they lifted the Outlaws total past the 100 mark in a half century stand off 46 balls.

Wessels reached his own fifty off 51 balls with five fours but it was the introduction of Moeen and the slower bowlers which turned the game in the Rapids favour.

Moeen ended a stand of 63 between Wessels and Taylor when the former on 50 went to cut and was bowled.

The Outlaws reached 130-3 at the 25 over half-way stage and were still on course to post a sizeable total.

But the Rapids bowlers then took a grip of proceedings which they seldom looked like relinquishing.

Taylor (47) also aimed to cut Moeen and was bowled and then Samit Patel (20) was beaten in the flight and bowled by D’Oliveira.

D’Oliveira made it two wickets in the same over when Outlaws captain Steven Mullaney (7) was again victim of attempting a cut and was caught behind by keeper Ben Cox.

There was now a steady stream of wickets and Chris Nash (10) was caught off a skier by Moeen running from fine leg off Mitchell.

Luke Fletcher (22) top edged a Moeen delivery and Callum Ferguson held onto a good catch at leg gulley.

Ferguson again showed a safe pair of hands as Matt Carter (1) swept Moeen into his hands on the legside fence.

Mitchell polished off the innings by bowling Jake Ball (6).

Wickets continued to tumble in the early stages of the Rapids innings.

Joe Clarke (3) was caught at mid wicket by Nash off Fletcher and then Moeen (10) was bowled by Ball to leave the Rapids on 13-2 in the sixth over.

It became 21-3 when Ferguson (6) top edged a catch to keeper Moores to give Fletcher a second wicket and seven runs later D’Oliveira (5) was caught in the covers by Carter off Patel.

Mitchell and Cox tried to repair the situation and added 37.

But on 17 was caught off a top edge at leg slip against the bowling of Carter and Ross Whiteley (3) hit Nash straight to mid on with the total 74-6 after 25 overs.

Ed Barnard provided excellent support for Mitchell in a stand of 65 in 13.4 overs.

Barnard hit the first six of the game off Patel over mid wicket and Mitchell went to his fifty off 82 balls with three boundaries.

But after making 62, Mitchell chipped a Steven Mullaney delivery to Taylor at mid wicket at 137-7 in the 39th over.

The end came quickly as Leach (3) perished off a skier in the deep off the returning Fletcher with eight runs added and the paceman then yorked Morris (6).

Barnard was last out, having faced 59 balls, when he was bowled by Patel.