Turn caught Moeen off guard


England allrounder Moeen Ali has admitted to being surprised by the amount of turn the Tigers spinners extracted on day one of the first Test in Chittagong.

The visitors clawed their way to 258 for 7 by the close having been reduced to 106 for 5 at one point as Bangladesh spun the ball from the outset.

Moeen lived a charmed life as he was given out leg before three times but successfully reviewed all three decisions while the Tigers used up a further two reviews on the left-handed allrounder.

Had Bangladesh reviewed a not out decision when Moeen had just one they would have snared their man.

On an eventful day Moeen conceded England got some dirty runs.

The southpaw said: “It was very tough, it was the hardest 60 I’ve ever made. They bowled well, they bowled very accurately. And it’s not just about surviving, it’s about scoring runs.

“I didn’t think it was going to spin as much. You saw the new ball, it spun straight away and it’s not easy to play against, especially the new ball as not every ball spins. After that it spun, but more regularly which makes it a bit easier.

“We said at one point that 250 might even be a good score, but Jonny and myself had a crucial partnership. We are going to have to be quite greedy (on day two), and hopefully get close to 300.

“They were dirty runs today. It was a massive mental challenge, especially with the reviews. I kept missing the ball and it hit my pad. I couldn’t figure out why. It was a good mental challenge.”

Moeen had previously credited umpire Kumar Dharmasena with improving his off-spin, but admitted to being a bit frosty with the Sri Lankan after being given out in error three times by the official in the space of six balls only to have each decision overturned.

The tweaker said: “We are normally pretty tight, but we didn’t speak for a session. It was a tough pitch to umpire, but what can I say? The guy gave me out three times!

“I knew I had hit the first one or gloved it, there was definitely something there. (Joe) Root saved me on the other two.

“You have the reviews to take, so it’s not luck. The way I was set up, I was trying to bat on off stump or on middle and off, so there’s less chance of me being out lbw.”

Moeen accepts that the pressure will be on himself and the other tweakers to deliver wickets on a spin-friendly surface.

He went on: “We have Batty, myself and Rash who hopefully can bowl these guys out. There’s a lot of pressure on us to deliver on these wickets and, with the winter ahead, we are going to have to get used to that pressure.”