Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Moeen Set To Have New Opening Partner After Cook Handed One Game Ban

Moeen Set To Have New Opening Partner After Cook Handed One Game Ban

Moeen Ali will have an new opening partner for the fourth One-Day international against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday after skipper Alastair Cook was handed a one-match suspension for England's slow over rate in the third game of the series in Hambantota yesterday.

Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen has had scores of 119, two and 58 in partnership with Cook and the pair set up yesterday's five wicket win with an opening stand of 84.

But England's second over-rate offence within a 12 month period – the other was against India in Cardiff – has led to Cook receiving the automatic ban.

Cook was also fined 20 per cent of his match fee by the International Cricket Council after pleading guilty to the offence with the rest of the team fined 10 per cent of their match fees.

England were 18 minutes behind the clock during the Sri Lankan innings which was reduced to 35 overs because of heavy rain.

It remains to be confirmed who will open but one candidate is Alex Hales who lost his place at the top of the order to Moeen for this series.

He came back into the side in the number three position in place of Ian Bell yesterday and his hesitation led to Moeen being run out for 58 when a comfortable single was there for the taking.

Hales spent a brief spell on loan at New Road last season, scoring 15 and 63 in the LV = County Championship match with Glamorgan at the Swalec Stadium.

Eoin Morgan has been the regular stand-in ODI captain whenever Cook has been absent but he is struggling for form with just 207 runs in his last 13 innings at an average of just under 16.