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All-round Moeen Ali stars as England level Windies T20 series

Moeen Ali, leading England in place of the injured Eoin Morgan, struck seven sixes, including four in a row off Jason Holder, during a 63 made from just 28 balls as England posted a total of 193 for six on Saturday.

January 30, 2022 / 02:21 PM IST
Liam Livingstone (L) and Moeen Ali (R) of England celebrate the dismissal of Nicholas Pooran of West Indies during the 4th T20I between West Indies and England at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados, on January 29.

Liam Livingstone (L) and Moeen Ali (R) of England celebrate the dismissal of Nicholas Pooran of West Indies during the 4th T20I between West Indies and England at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados, on January 29.

Stand-in skipper Moeen Ali starred with bat and ball as England beat the West Indies by 34 runs in the fourth Twenty20 international in Bridgetown to set up a series decider on Sunday.

Moeen, leading England in place of the injured Eoin Morgan, struck seven sixes, including four in a row off Jason Holder, during a 63 made from just 28 balls as England posted a total of 193 for six on Saturday.

The off-spinner then took two for 28 runs during the West Indies' 159 for five as England levelled the five-match series at 2-2 ahead of the teams' return to the Kensington Oval.

England's bowling in the latter stages of matches earlier in this series had proved expensive.

But with the West Indies needing 61 off the final four overs, Chris Jordan -- recalled after England's defeat on Wednesday -- and Reece Topley held their nerve.

- 'Fantastic' -

"I thought we were good in all areas," said player of the match Moeen Ali as he highlighted England's bowling late on.

"That's the thing we're really proud about tonight, the 'death bowling' was fantastic," Moeen said.

As for his own form, he added: "I got some momentum with my batting. I was happy to contribute for the team."

Moeen Ali, of England, hits 6 during the 4th T20I between West Indies and England at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados, on January 29. Moeen Ali, of England, hits 6 during the 4th T20I between West Indies and England at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados, on January 29.

Both Moeen and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard were full of praise for England leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who checked the hosts' run chase with 1-28.

"We screwed up in the middle of our innings, not losing wickets but being a little slow," said Pollard.

"Adil Rashid bowled exceptionally well again, as he has in this series, with his variations and tomorrow will be an even game."

Earlier, England opener Jason Roy, dropped on three, made 52 off 42 balls.

The tourists were 80 for one off nine overs before Pollard slowed the run-rate.

But Moeen revived the innings, as England added 59 in the last three overs after James Vince had made 34.

Moeen took England past three figures when he swept Akeal Hosein for four and fired England past 150 with four successive sixes off Holder.

Read more: England all-rounder Moeen Ali announces retirement from Test cricket

The West Indies raced to 56 without loss in six overs, Kyle Mayers marking his first match of the series with some blazing hitting.

But Rashid slowed the run-rate before Moeen had Mayers (40) and Brandon King (26) caught in the deep.

Rashid then removed Rovman Powell, fresh from a hundred on Wednesday, for just five.

West Indies were now 78 for three but some big-hitting from Nicholas Pooran and Holder kept the hosts in the game.

But Barbados-born Jordan, whose recent late-innings bowling has been much criticised, conceded just seven runs in the 17th over before taking the catch on the boundary that saw Holder dismissed.

Brief scores

England 193-6, 20 overs (Moeen Ali 63, Jason Roy 52; Jason Holder 3-44)

West Indies 159-5 (Kyle Mayers 40, Jason Holder 36; Moeen Ali 2-28)

Result: England won by 34 runs

Series: Five-match series level at 2-2
AFP
first published: Jan 30, 2022 02:13 pm