Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Shantry And Moeen Earn Selvey Praise For Contributions To Cricket In 2014

Jack Shantry and Moeen Ali have featured amongst cricket's 10 most memorable moments of 2014 as selected by the Guardian's cricket corresspondent and former England paceman Mike Selvey.

Selvey has highlighted Shantry's remarkable performance against Surrey to seal Worcestershire's promotion to Division One of the LV County Championship.

The player scored his maiden first class century and took 10 wickets – the first player to achieve the feat batting at number nine or lower in the history of first class cricket.

Selvey writes: "At New Road, in September, Worcestershire gained their championship promotion by beating Surrey and did so on one of the most remarkable individual performances that cricket has witnessed.

"Jack Shantry is the journeyman’s journeyman, but here he produced the perfect storm. In their first innings Worcestershire, 133 for six at one time , had reached 228 for seven, before Shantry, at nine, scored 21 of 44 for the eighth wicket, helping his side to 272.

"Surrey reached 373 for four in reply before Shantry took 5 for 15 (6 for 87 in the innings) to keep the lead to 134.

"By the time Shantry batted again, Worcestershire were seven down and only 37 runs on, whereupon he made 101 not out from 89 balls.

"Chasing 217 to win, and 131 for two, Surrey fell again to Shantry, 4-22 in an inspired spell.

"Worcester won by 27 runs: no one had ever taken ten wickets in a match and made a century at nine or below. They have now."

Selvey is full of praise for the way Moeen has settled into the England side and become an integral part of their plans.

He writes: "Who can say they do not love Moeen Ali? He has remained true to himself.

"Dismissed erroneously by many as a part-time offspinner, he has become an integral part of the England attack now Graeme Swann has gone, and bowled England to a win against India at the Ageas Bowl with 6 for 67.

"He enchants with the bat (and frustrates at times too), with the sweetest timing since David Gower.

"Against Sri Lanka at Headingley, in adversity, he batted majestically and unflustered all day for a maiden Test hundred that came within two balls of saving a game that had seemed long lost.

"Then in Colombo, as counterpoint, he struck 119 from 87 balls.

"His Gaza wrist-band demonstration was heartfelt, a humanitarian rather than political act."