Moeen Ali claims five wickets as England battle back into contention

Pujara’s century helps India establish a slender 27-run advantage struck a century

 England’s Moeen Ali  successfully appeals for the wicket of Ishant Sharma  during day two of the fourth Test against India at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Photograph:  Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England’s Moeen Ali successfully appeals for the wicket of Ishant Sharma during day two of the fourth Test against India at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

 

Moeen Ali was once again a thorn in India’s side as he vindicated his England recall with five wickets on day two of the fourth Test at the Ageas Bowl.

The all-rounder was central to England’s triumph in the corresponding series four years ago but a dreadful winter had seen him omitted from the Test ranks this summer, with Adil Rashid preferred as the number one spinner against India.

Not for the first time, though, Moeen seemed to revel in his status as the back-up slow bowler and he marked his return with figures of five for 63 as India were all out for 273 and a slender 27-run advantage.

The tourists, trailing 2-1 in the Specsavers series, were indebted to Cheteshwar Pujara’s 132 not out – incredibly only his second century away from Asia and his first in England – which was the backbone of the innings.

The day also saw Virat Kohli become the second fastest Indian batsman to reach 6,000 Test runs, and it seemed he and Pujara would put India in a commanding position when they reached 142 for two in mid-afternoon.

But the usually irrepressible Kohli fell four runs short of a half-century after edging the ever-willing Sam Curran to Alastair Cook at first slip before Moeen took star billing.

Moeen, who claimed 19 wickets at an average of 23 in the series between these teams in 2014, had his first when Rishabh Pant was trapped in front to end a tortured 29-ball stay in which he failed to get off the mark. After tea, Hardik Pandya flicked straight to midwicket, Ravi Ashwin and Mohammed Shami were bowled off successive deliveries before Ishant Sharma was snaffled at the second attempt by Alastair Cook at short-leg.

Pujara, at this stage, was in danger of being left stranded in the 90s but last-man Jasprit Bumrah provided admirable support, allowing the senior batsman to complete a resolute century from 210 balls.

A 46-run last-wicket stand took India into the lead and frustrated England, but Stuart Broad – who had earlier removed openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan — had the battling Bumrah caught at first slip.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.