Moeen, Man of the Match

He may not have won this year’s Beard of the Year award but Moeen Ali did his best to compensate this morning by taking three quick wickets as England bowled out South Africa to win the First Test in Durban by the impressive margin of 241 runs.

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With overall figures of 7 for 116 including the key wicket of AB De Villiers early on this morning, he thoroughly deserved his Man Of The Match award. Beard power strikes again!

South Africa had been set a total of  416 with a day and a half to play (140 overs). Some were arguing that Cook should have declared but I think he was right in batting on. I said so on Twitter and my comment made it onto the bbc Web feed

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I felt an earlier declaration would have been reckless and unnecessary: There was plenty of time to bowl out South Africa on a turning wicket so why give them even a sniff of victory?

As it turned out there was no declaration anyway: England were all out for 326 in their second innings. South Africa batted well to start with, scoring steadily at five an over, but lost key wickets to close on 136-4 last night. Had they been able to bat all the last  day they would not only have saved the game but have had a chance if winning it, but once De Villiers was out, in Moeen’s first over, South Africa were doomed.

Well played Moeen and the rest of the England team!

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