Friday, November 21st, 2014

Moeen Shines With Bat And Ball In England’s Opening Warm-Up Win In Sri Lanka

Moeen Shines With Bat And Ball In England’s Opening Warm-Up Win In Sri Lanka

Moeen Ali made a splendid start to England's tour of Sri Lanka with ball and bat in their opening warm-up match victory over Sri Lanka 'A'.

The Worcestershire all-rounder first of all picked up three wickets as Sri Lanka 'A' were restricted to 198-6 from 43 overs in Colombo on a rain-hit day.

Then Ali smashed 24 runs from the first over from Vishwa Fernando and reached 50 off just 21 balls when England launched their reply.

Moeen, who is in his first year as a centrally contracted player, was preferred to Alex Hales alongside skipper Alastair Cook at the top of the order for the first game ahead of seven One-Day internationals.

It was a position he had occupied at the start of his England senior career when scoring 44, 10 and 55 in the West Indies last winter in tandem with Michael Lumb.

He struck twice in three balls in the 14th over to dismiss Niroshan Dickwella (17) and Dinesh Chandimal (0) and reduce Sri Lanka 'A' to 49-3.

Dickwella perished to an attempted sweep and fell to a tumbling catch by James Tredwell at short fine leg while Sri Lanka ODI captain Chandimal pushed forward and edged to Cook at leg slip.

Moeen's third victim was Thilina Kadamby, also for a duck, in the 24th over with the home side then 105-5 after he offered a simple catch to cover.

He finished with the excellent figures of 3-29 from nine overs.

Moeen then made an explosive start to the England innings after Cook had played out a maiden to Lahiru Gamage.

He hit all six legitimate deliveries in Fernando's first over for four and, with the aid of a wide, it cost 25 runs.

Four of the boundaries were despatched through the covers, one came from a straight drive and the other off his legs.

Moeen's first 44 runs contained 10 boundaries and then he went to his 50 out of 73 with a six over long-off off spinner Ramith Rambukwella in the eighth over.

He was finally dismissed for 56 off 37 balls by Gamage with England then 94-1 in the 14th over.

Cook made 54 and England won under the Duckworth-Lewis Method after reaching 145-2 from 25 overs.