Moeen hails Cook century

Published: Saturday 2nd May 2015 by The News Editor

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Moeen Ali hailed centurion Alastair Cook but accepted the West Indies have given themselves the upper hand after day one of the third Test against England.

Moeen made 58 in a partnership of 98 with his captain, who went on to end his near two-year wait for a three-figure score in Tests before his dismissal in the last over left England 240 for seven having won the toss.

Asked who had the edge in the match, Moeen said: “I ‘d say the West Indies just about. I think the two wickets at the end (of Ben Stokes and Cook) just edged it towards them.

“To be seven down tonight is a bit disappointing, because we were looking quite comfortable at one stage. Tomorrow we’ll have to play really well with the bat and then we’ll have to bowl really well.

“It’s a tough pitch and it’s only going to get worse, so hopefully we can get a partnership tomorrow and build a score.”

Cook’s overdue hundred, his first in 36 Test innings, brought an emotional response at the Kensington Oval but Moeen felt the significance to the match situation was greater.

“He probably just wanted to get it off his chest a little bit, but the most important thing was he got the team out of trouble with that century,” he said.

“He’ll be more proud about that. You saw how much it meant to the players and fans that our captain is in form ahead of some important games.

“We felt like it was coming, he’s been playing so well for the previous two games and he deserves it.

“I think just to get people off his back a little bit, it was nice to get a hundred. And the most important thing was he got us out of trouble.

“You can see he was relieved, but the team’s more important. The hundred got us out of jail.”

Aside from the late under-edge off Marlon Samuels that saw him caught behind, the only black mark on Cook’s day was the rash call for a single that saw Moeen run out.

But the Worcestershire man revealed: “H e’s already apologised.

“This kind of stuff happens. He looked at it and called yeah, and I just went. I’m the type that trusts the batter’s judgement.

“It probably was the wrong one today, but these things happen.”

Moeen still has work to do in his second suit, as a bowler, and drew encouragement from what the wicket offered to Windies spinners Samuels and Veerasammy Permaul.

He said: “It’s the sort of pitch I’ve been looking for, in terms of a bit of bounce, a bit of spin.

“Hopefully I can settle right away into a line and length and then I can be quite dangerous.

“It’s going to get worse, I think, as the game goes on. We didn’t expect it to spin so much, but the bounce is always the key here.”

West Indies paceman Jason Holder, who claimed two for 34, agreed the match situation was slightly in his own side’s favour.

“Yeah, we’re very pleased after today’s performance,” he said.

“To get seven wickets on a pretty flat pitch and keep them down to 240, we’ll take that.

“If you build pressure, these things happen. We kept relatively tight. I thought our spinners (did) a wonderful job. That was a difference from the last two Tests. It’s really put us in a very good position.”

On Cook’s innings, he added: ” I thought he was very patient.

“I thought we bowled to him pretty well, kept it relatively tight, tried to keep it as straight as possible and fortunately for us we kept him quiet.

“I think it’s credit to him for the way he played. I thought his temperament was very good.”

Published: Saturday 2nd May 2015 by The News Editor

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