Mooen still learning on the job

Moeen Ali, pictured, accounted for Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne late on Sunday

Moeen Ali, pictured, accounted for Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne late on Sunday

First published in National Sport News © by

England's hopes of securing a series win over Sri Lanka were boosted by two quick wickets from Moeen Ali on day three, but the spinner admits he is learning on the job as an international bowler.

Moeen took the key scalp of Kumar Sangakkara and added that of Lahiru Thirimanne two balls later to give late impetus to the home side, who had been bested for much of the day.

The tourists reached stumps on 214 for four - a lead of 106 - a scenario that gives both teams a chance of victory.

But that may not have been the case had Mahela Jayawardene (55no) still been alongside Sangakkara, whose own half-century was a world record-equalling seventh in a row.

Moeen's intervention may have had the impact of a specialist, but the all-rounder admits he is far from that.

Indeed, he is more than happy to consult the retired Graeme Swann, who has already been approached to work with young English spinners below the senior team.

"When he comes down I try and speak to him here and there. Why not? He's been one of best spinners in world for the last seven or eight years," said Moeen.

"I've spoken to him here and there and he tries to give me lots of confidence. He's told me to just enjoy it and enjoy playing for England all the time."

Moeen certain took pleasure in his late burst against Sri Lanka, which came after he had been asked to bowl just one over in the first 55.

Sangakkara's is a particularly prized scalp for Moeen.

"It was nice to get him, he's one of my heroes as a batsman," he added.

"I was just trying to bowl as straight as I could to Sangakkara, bowl a dot ball really. He's taken me down a couple of times already but I just trying to do a job for the team and thankfully it came off.

"It was nice to contribute to the side, to bring us back into the game because Sri Lanka were playing really well at the time and to do it in that way was great," he said.

Moeen was comfortable enough to slip in his much talked about 'doosra' - a work in progress but a dangerous weapon that Swann never even trifled with.

"Yeah, I bowled one. I was feeling pretty confident so I thought 'why not?'," he said.

"It's the first one I've bowled (for England). I just wanted to do a job for the team first because I'm not as confident with the red ball as I am with the white ball.

"Jayawardene played it quite well but he did sort of say it was alright!"

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree