Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Moeen Ali scythed through South Africa’s batting line-up with a six-wicket haul to lead England to a comprehensive 211-run win on the fourth day of the first Test at Lord’s.
With Moeen scoring 87 in the first innings and taking a total of 10 wickets in the match, it was the first time since Ian Botham in 1980 that an England player made a score of 50-plus and secured a 10-wicket haul in a Test match.
Moeen was also the first spinner to claim a 10-wicket haul at Lord’s since Derek Underwood accomplished the feat against Pakistan in 1974.
Furthermore, thanks to Moeen, South Africa suffered their largest defeat to England in terms of runs.
Starting off the day on 119/1, England added 20 runs to their overnight score before Alastair Cook was dismissed by Morne Morkel for 69, which came off 192 balls and included 10 boundaries.
Once Cook was out, England began to collapse in spectacular fashion due to some magnificent bowling from Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada.
Having gone from 139/2 to 182/8, England found themselves in a serious spot of bother, but wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood came to the rescue with a 45-run partnership before Wood was cleaned up by Rabada for 28.
England ended up being bowled out for 233, which set South Africa a target of 331 to win, when Bairstow was stumped by Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Maharaj for 51 off 76 deliveries, which included six boundaries.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Rabada and Morkel chipped in with three wickets apiece.
Chasing 331 to win, South Africa found themselves in trouble right from the get-go as Heino Kuhn, stand-in captain Dean Elgar, JP Duminy and Hashim Amla were dismissed in quick succession.
Reeling at 28/4, the Proteas were beginning to rebuild their innings, but once Moeen got rid of De Kock for 18, he was unstoppable from that point on.
With none of the South African batsmen putting up a fight, the tourists ended up being skittled out for 119.
Moeen was easily the most successful bowler with six wickets, while Liam Dawson snapped up two, and Wood and James Anderson claimed one wicket each.
Elgar was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “We are disappointed with the way things went down, but pleased to see Faf back. Anything under 300 would have given us a great shot, the late runs pushed that up and it didn’t go our way. You can break the game down in so many ways, it’s not an intentional action [to drop catches] but there were two or three occasions when we could have made it easier – it’s probably over 200 runs if we’d taken our chances.
“Quality players will make you play. We need to work a little hard, be a little harder on ourselves. A lot of the guys in the Test side weren’t part of the other disappointments so hope remains high. [Kagiso] is a massive loss, for us and for international cricket. He adds a different dynamic, so losing him is a big thing. It will be a tough ask for us. Pretty sure Vernon will be fit, just when he’s batting it’s a bit sore.”
England skipper Joe Root was thrilled to have won his first Test match as captain, and said: “Great start. Everything I asked of the lads they did. Responded to all the challenges. It’s nice to get the runs, a monkey off the back, but through the entire game we had vital partnerships. Moeen had very aggressive fields and was still able to put pressure on the batsmen.
“It’s nice to be stood here having made the right choices. Everyone contributed at some point in the game, the whole team played a big part in the win. A lot of credit has to go to the three guys who batted last night, those runs are probably worth double. It was a very valuable 100 runs, was very tough today.”
Moeen was named Man of the Match, and said: “Was a great game for myself and very happy today. Was a great wicket, even in the first innings. Tried to make the batsmen play as much as I could. I learnt a lot [in the winter] speaking to Saqi, it made things a lot clearer for myself and I’d like to dedicate this to him.
“Rooty told me to attack, Alastair used to be the same. It was like a fresh start with a new captain. It’s a nice time to come in to bat, you can play a few shots against the second new ball. I thought Liam bowled really well, unlucky not to get more wickets but things went my way.”