Match-winner Moeen revels in Lord's heroics


Moeen Ali reflected on his man-of-the-match performance against South Africa as the best all-round display of his career after he spun England to an emphatic 211-run victory in the first Test.

The magnificent Moeen finished with career-best match figures of 10-112 after taking 6-53 in the second innings as the Proteas were skittled out for only 119 on a dramatic day four at Lord's.

Spinner Moeen also made 87 in the first innings before tormenting the Proteas with the ball to get on the honours board for the first time, generating sharp turn to bamboozle the tourists.

Moeen expressed his gratitude to England spin-bowling coach Saqlain Mushtaq following his heroics on a day in which 19 wickets fell, with the home side dismissed for 233 before sealing a resounding win in Joe Root's first Test as captain.

Asked if he felt it was his best all-round display for England, Moeen said: "Yes, definitely. It was a great game for myself and the team to win the game and I'm very happy today.

"It was a great wicket to bowl on, even in the first innings, and to try and attack their batters as much as I can, make them play as much as I can, and it paid off for me.

"I learned about my action [on the tour of India], and speaking to Saqi [Saqlain], who helps me with my mindset when I go out to bowl and to try and make things a lot clearer for myself.

"I'd like to dedicate this to him. Rooty told me to attack and Chef [Alastair Cook] used to do the same, it was more myself that changed for this game and it was almost like a fresh start with the new captain."

Skipper Root, who will have an unchanged squad to select from for the second Test at Trent Bridge, said he could not have asked for more from his side at the start of his reign and was relieved to play such a key role, having scored a majestic 190 in the first innings.

"It was a great start. Everything I asked of the lads this week they did and it's great to go to Trent Bridge 1-0 up," the skipper said.

"It's a monkey off the back, if you like, to get one [a big score] out of the way. We had some vital partnerships in both innings and the lads responded very well to everything that was asked of them.

"Throughout the whole game I think everyone contributed at some point and I think that's a really pleasing sign that the whole team has played a big part in this win."