Moeen Ali, the England all-rounder, was the go-to man for Alastair Cook on the first day of the second Test at Dhaka on Friday (October 28). The Worcestershire offspinner recorded his first five-wicket haul since July 2014 and helped the visitors bowl Bangladesh out for 220.
Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque were cruising along when Moeen Ali struck to break the 170-run partnership. He first sent back centurion Tamim and followed it up with Mominul’s wicket in a couple overs. Stokes and Woakes joined the party and the trio took the last nine Bangladeshi wickets for just 49 runs.
However, the hosts didn’t allow England to take honours on day one. Mehedi Hasan and Shakib al Hasan produced some quality spin bowling to take three wickets.
“It has been a good cricket game. Obviously, the three wickets that we have lost, put us back a bit. Overall, we were pleased to bowl them out for 220 after being 170 for one. It’s been a good day again,” Ali said after the day’s play.
Ali was also saviour with the bat for England. Having lost Ben Duckett, Cook and Gary Ballance in quick succession, Ali was promoted up the order to see off a tricky period. Seven balls into his innings, the skies opened up and play was cut short due to rain. But the important thing for England was he looked calm alongside Joe Root.
“We need to bat well and get couple of big partnerships. We have to play well to get any sort of lead. We are still a long way, but we bat deep and hopefully, we bat well tomorrow, then we can look forward to bowling them out again,” he added.
With an economy of 3.8 and an average close to 40, Ali is not one of the best spinners in Test cricket but the Worcestershire man is quick to acknowledge that fact.
“I don’t have that much success as a spinner, but the pace I bowl helps me get wickets in Test cricket. I am trying to get more consistent. Their (Bangladesh) offspinner is very good, he (Mehedi Hasan) lands it accurately and it is something I am trying to do as well.
“I am obviously happy getting five wickets. But I am more happy that I bowled a few maidens which I don’t usually do. I tried to bowl tight in my third spell and it paid off today,” he said.
The offspinner had words of encouragement for his fellow spinners Zafar Ansari and Adil Rashid, who went wicketless. “Zafar’s first game and he was probably nervous. Rashid is only playing his fifth game, it takes a bit of time. I am nowhere near where I want to be as a spinner. But I feel that the 30 games I have played helps me a bit,” he concluded.