Moeen Ali was delighted to show off in the England dressing room and set a new record by becoming his country’s fastest cricket ever in Twenty20 cricket.
Moeen brought up his half-century in just 16 balls in the Vitality Series opener against South Africa, a 41-run home win that beat teammate Liam Livingstone’s year-old record by a single delivery.
The all-rounder smashed six sixes and two fours in his short but exciting knock, sharing a match-winning 106 score with career-best 90 Jonny Bairstow.
After losing both white ball series against India and drawing the ODI leg against the Proteas, result mattered most to England, but Moeen was also happy to toast his personal performance.
He made the most of the modest proportions at Bristol’s Seat Unique Stadium, where 29 sixes were played in 40 overs while England safely defended 234 to six.
“It means a lot, there are lads in our dressing room who score quickly and now I can brag about the top 50 in T20 cricket for England. I’ll go to the dressing room and give it a big time,” he said with a wink.
“It’s something great to be proud of, but I’m sure it will break soon. This was a comfortably large area for someone like me who isn’t the most massive hitter of a ball like some of the guys.
“You can hit sixes here, you pick the bowlers you like and go after them. I just looked at a few balls and then played my shots.”
Moeen was also keen to share the praise, hailing Bairstow for his latest exemplary performance in a summer of memorable performances from the Yorkshireman and praising Chris Jordan’s Death Bowling.
“Jonny is someone I’ve always loved to hit with, he’s quite busy, strong, powerful and the way he hit tonight was very entertaining. It was great to be on the other end,” he said of Bairstow.
Jordan, meanwhile, kept his head level and conceded a meager eight runs from the 18th and 20th over combined to turn a potentially close finish into a no-brainer.
“CJ finished the game for us,” Moeen said.
“He’s a very, very important player and has experience around the world. He had a difficult couple of years in the role he was given but this summer he was fantastic. We know how good he is, his pace is fast and he’s a fantastic death bowler.”
Proteas sailor Lungi Ngidi, on the losing side despite outstanding figures of five for 39, insisted his side always believed they had a chance. And 21-year-old Tristan Stubbs sniffed them in his first international innings with a 28-ball 72.
“We definitely thought we could hunt it. Everything was doable in the last five, but we lost too many wickets,” he said.
“We had full confidence in Stubbs, he showed us what he is capable of in training. I bowled against him myself and was on the receiving end of what we saw tonight.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/moeen-ali-jonny-bairstow-south-africa-t20-england-b2132791.html Moeen Ali claims to be bragging about South Africa after a fast half-century