• Moeen Ali stars as England hold edge

    July 9, 2015

    Despite an impressive 95 from Chris Rogers, England have the slight upper-hand in the first Test match against Australia, thanks to brilliant all-round contributions from Moeen Ali on day two at Cardiff.

    England began the day on 343-7, and Moeen, who walked to the crease on 26, kept the scoreboard ticking along in the morning session along with Stuart Broad, who was, as expected, peppered with short deliveries.

    He eventually popped one up when he was on 11 and Adam Voges thought he’d caught it, only for the third umpire to decide it hit the ground first. It didn’t prove too influential, as Broad departed for 18.

    It was a useful 52-run stand between Broad and Moeen, however, and the latter brought up a 50. He unleashed from there and reached a bold 77 before Mitchell Starc got involved. Mark Wood and James Anderson didn’t hang around too much longer and Starc, who had a tough first day, managed to wrap a five-wicket haul.

    Rogers and David Warner then walked to the crease and did well to see off the new ball as they manufactured a 52-run stand. Anderson would get his man in the end, however: Warner pushed at one when he was on 17 and it went into the willing hands of skipper Alastair Cook.

    Rogers was somewhat surprisingly the man making the quick runs, and built up a brisk partnership with Steve Smith. Rogers then brought up a seventh consecutive Test fifty. Smith took a liking to Moeen’s off-spin, but it eventually proved his downfall, as he popped one straight into the hands of Cook for 33.

    Rogers and Michael Clarke’s partnership also had promise, before Rogers fell an agonizing five runs short of a fifth Test century.

    England then started to seize control with the wicket of Clarke, the Aussie skipper walking back for 38 as he smashed one straight back to Moeen, the all-rounder doing well to cling on and take his second wicket of the innings.

    Voges and Shane Watson then dug deep as they attempted to see off the day’s play, but Ben Stokes struck late on, dismissing Voges for 31, to make it England’s day. Australia will go into day three on 264-5, trailing England by 166 runs.

     

     



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