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India underestimated, Moeen Ali retaliated!

Last updated on: August 01, 2014 10:11 IST

India underestimated, Moeen Ali retaliated!

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The so-called part-time spinner is third in the list of leading bowlers in the India-England Test series with 15 wickets.

Spinner Moeen Ali was England’s unlikely hero in the third Test against India at Southampton on Thursday.

The so-called part-time spinner, underestimated by the Indians thus far, claimed six wickets for 67 runs to inspire England to a thumping 266-run victory on Day 5 of the match and level the series at 1-1 with two matches to play.

The first five-wicket haul of his Test career sent India crashing to 178 all out in their second innings on the final morning of the match. And the fact that, with 15 wickets in three Tests, Moeen is third in the list of leading bowlers in the series, is an apt response to the Indian disdain.

England took the six wickets they needed to secure a first Test victory since they beat Australia at Durham last August and, in the process, ended a run of 10 matches without victory.

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Image: Moeen Ali celebrates after taking a wicket in the third Test against India at Southampton
Photographs: Philip Brown/Reuters

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James Anderson got England off to the perfect start by dismissing Rohit Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni early in the morning session. The man-of-the-match drew Sharma into a faint edge through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler before dismissing Dhoni in similar fashion a delivery that nipped away from the right-hander.

England captain Alastair Cook then made a crucial bowling change by introducing Moeen. The spinner responded magnificently, dismissing Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami in the space of 12 deliveries, before aptly taking the final scalp of Pankaj Singh.

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Image: England's Moeen Ali wears wristbands supporting Gaza and Palestine during the third Test against India at the Rose Bowl in Southampton
Photographs: Philip Brown /Reuters

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India underestimated, Moeen Ali retaliated!

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Moeen bowled Jadeja with a full-length delivery before inducing Kumar, who has three half-centuries in the series, to edge on to his pad. The ball looped up to Anderson, at gully, who made no mistake with the catch.

Moeen grew in confidence and continued to bamboozle the Indian batsmen, bowling Shami and Singh to wrap a deserved victory for the hosts.

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Image: England's Moeen Ali (centre) shakes hands with India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (right) after claiming 6 for 67 and victory by 266 runs on Day 5 of the third Test
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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Ajinkya Rahane played with composure to score his second half-century of the match, but his unbeaten 52 was in vain as England maintained the dominance they had shown over the first four days.

The fourth Test begins at Old Trafford, Manchester, on August 7. The Indians will need to come up with something special if they are to score a first ever win at the venue and regain the initiative they took after winning the second Test at Lord’s.


Image: Moeen Ali celebrates after capturing the wicket of Virat Kohli during Day 4 of the third Test
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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