[Watch] Moeen Ali Outfoxes Steve Smith At Leeds To Complete 200 Test Wickets
Moeen Ali celebrates Steve Smith's wicket (Twitter)
Moeen Ali, who seemingly made his Test retirement in September 2021, was requested back into the England side for the 2023 Ashes. The cricketer replaced primary spinner Jack Leach in the squad, after the latter was ruled out owing to an injury.
Ali gracefully accepted the sudden call-up, and even got his side some crucial breakthroughs on a tense Day 2 of the third Test at Leeds. The all-rounder, who initially retired with 195 wickets from 64 Test appearances, has now completed 200 in the format. Moreover, he achieved the landmark figure by claiming the prized-scalp of Steve Smith.
Moeen Ali disrupts Steve Smith’s 100-Test party
England captain Ben Stokes employed Moeen Ali to bowl some crucial overs during the dying light of Day 2. The off-spinner bowled in tandem with pacers Mark Wood and Chris Woakes, and handed his side some crucial breakthroughs against an increasing Australian lead.
For starters, he removed Marnus Labuschagne by tossing the ball up on the middle. But the wicket of the evening came a while later, in his immediate next over to be exact, when he dismissed dangerman Steve Smith cheaply.
Smith, who was playing the 100th Test of his career, was gone for just two as the Australians were reduced to 72-3. His wicket marked the 200th one of Moeen Ali’s Test career, with the Englishman becoming only the third specialist spinner from his country to achieve the landmark.
Earlier in the day, England extended their overnight score of 68-3 to 237, courtesy of Ben Stokes’ heroics. The charismatic leader unleashed another six-laden masterclass to top-score for his side. He whacked 80 runs in all, most of them with the tail, and lifted the hosts after they were reduced to 167-8 at one stage.