WEB DESK: Moeen took centre stage with both bat and ball on another captivating day of Ashes cricket which swung to and fro before Australia lost three wickets in the last session to end on 264 for five, trailing by 166 runs
First Moeen hit 51 of the 87 that England’s last three wickets thrashed in 14.1 more overs of high-octane cricket as they reached 430 while fully justifying their pledge to take the attack to Australia in this Ashes.
Then he removed Australia’s best two batsmen in Steve Smith and Michael Clarke, both renowned as experts against spin, with two contrasting and skilful pieces of bowling that again proved he is far more than a part-time off-spinner. Moeen took 19 Test wickets against India last summer while also hitting a century of rare class against Sri Lanka.
Yet Trevor Bayliss made it clear last week that Moeen remained the ‘No 1 spinner’ and he showed why here by tying Smith up in knots with a faster ball and then deceiving Clarke with one of his slowest deliveries of the day.
Those were the highlights of an impressive England bowling performance on a pitch that offered them little as Alastair Cook shrewdly marshalled his resources and put into practice his promise to be more bold and pro-active.
When Clarke fell to Moeen England were edging in front and they then ensured that the day would belong to them when Ben Stokes dismissed the 35-year-old Ashes debutant in Adam Voges.
As for the state of the match, Rogers said: “England might have the slight upper hand but we’ve got some good batting to come so if we can get a bit closer we’ll put the pressure on and you never know what can happen.”
Source: Daily Mail