Moeen puts England on front foot

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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Moeen Ali struck twice in three balls to put England in a promising position against Sri Lanka A in the first match of their World Cup winter.

Moeen, who learned the previous day that he will replace Alex Hales in this fixture as Alastair Cook’s new opening partner, made his mark on proceedings with the ball by taking the wickets of Niroshan Dickwella and then Dinesh Chandimal for a second-ball duck.

On a stodgy pitch after a rain-delayed start which reduced the match to 43 overs per side, the hosts – a line-up containing nine international players – won the toss and moved to 66 for three after 15.

Steven Finn provided England’s early breakthrough, with a very good delivery which had Kaushal Silva edging behind on the front-foot defence.

The accurate Chris Woakes had a stifling effect with a first spell of 4-1-3-0.

It remained hard going for the batsmen as England turned to off-spin at both ends – and even after opener Kusal Perera lofted Moeen over long-on for six off the final ball of the 10th over, the total was still only 28 for one.

Dickwella helped Perera add 44 for the second wicket, before a sweep at Moeen resulted in a tumbling catch for James Tredwell at short fine-leg.

Then Moeen made short work of former Sri Lanka one-day international captain Chandimal, who pushed forward and edged straight to Cook at leg-slip.

Chris Jordan made a poor start at the other end, though, conceding 11 in his first over and then 14 in his second – including three wides, a no-ball and Perera’s free-hit for six over long-on.

Published: Friday 21st November 2014 by The News Editor

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