Moeen Ali unconvincing as opener in England’s first warm-up match in UAE

Published: Monday 5th October 2015 by The News Editor

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Moeen Ali put in an inconclusive audition as a prospective Test opener on the first morning of England’s two-day warm-up match against Pakistan A.

England’s Plan A, based on selection here, appears to favour Moeen over Alex Hales as Alastair Cook’s new partner for the forthcoming three-Test series.

But a patchy 22, before a mis-pull at Zia-ul-Haq on a slow-motion surface in Sharjah, left England surely requiring more evidence about Moeen’s suitability for the task ahead.

Hales was out of sight in the nets behind the stand when, in the 18th over, Moeen tried to control a loopy short ball but got a little too much on it and was well-caught by a tumbling Ehsan Adil at deep backward square-leg.

If there were mixed feelings from understudy Hales, on re-emergence from his morning practice, England’s management too were left with plenty to think about while Cook guided his team to 69 for one at lunch.

Cook was more convincing throughout than Moeen, and there were no major alarms in the first hour for England against hosts led by Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq – called up at the last minute, from outside the published squad, for this fixture.

The tourists, choosing to bat in search of acclimatising match practice in the stifling heat here, found run-scoring a slow process.

As Misbah used all six of his frontline bowling options, however, Cook was untroubled as he and Ian Bell closed out the session.

England therefore made a satisfactory start to this follow-up tour, after last summer’s Ashes success – but could have done with a longer stay from Moeen.

Published: Monday 5th October 2015 by The News Editor

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