Moeen is in smashing form with six-hitting masterclass

Moeen Ali hits out on his way to making 102 as West Indies wicketkeeper Shai Hope looks on. Picture: Getty
Moeen Ali hits out on his way to making 102 as West Indies wicketkeeper Shai Hope looks on. Picture: Getty
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Moeen Ali just decided to “press the button” as he launched a record-breaking spree of six-hitting against West Indies.

After smashing England’s second-fastest one-day international hundred, which came up from just 53 balls in Bristol, Moeen agreed he has rarely felt as much in control as he did in this third Royal London Series match.

His 102 upped the ante for the hosts, his second 50 coming from a world-record 12 balls as he hit eight sixes in a total of 369 for nine – 
England’s highest in ODIs against the Windies.

Liam Plunkett’s maiden five-wicket haul in this format then ended the tourists’ run chase on 245 all out from 39.1 overs – despite Chris Gayle’s innings of 94, which included six sixes.

Moeen dominated a seventh-wicket stand of 117 with Chris Woakes, after Joe Root (84) and Ben Stokes (73) had earlier put on 132.

Asked how his remarkable innings ranked among his personal favourites for England, Moeen said: “I felt it was right up there.

“I just had a slog really, and everything just seemed to come off. I just tried to watch the ball, keep my shape and then really go for it.”

It was an uncomplicated plan which took the match away from the Windies as England went 2-0 up with two to play.

“Obviously at the time, I’m just trying to play as many shots as I can. I really enjoyed it,” Moeen added.

“You don’t think about it, and you just try to hit every ball for six really ... when it’s there just have a good go, and keep going.

“I thought we’d got ourselves in, and it was time to press the button and play a few shots – and it’s not a massive hit for six [here].”

West Indies captain Jason Holder was disappointed his team allowed England to get away from them.

“The par score on this ground was probably 320,” said Holder.

“We got off to a pretty decent start and kept up with the run-rate but kept losing wickets at crucial stages.

“Chris [Gayle] was exceptional, but we needed bigger partnerships.”