MOEEN HAT-TRICK SEALS CRUSH­ING ENG­LAND WIN

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Lon­don, UK - Moeen Ali be­came the first bowler in The Oval's 100 Test-his­tory to take a hat-trick as Eng­land wrapped up a crush­ing 239-run win in the third Test against South Africa on Mon­day.

Off-spin­ner Moeen ended the south Lon­don ground's land­mark match when, af­ter hav­ing Dean El­gar (136) and Kag­iso Rabada caught at first slip by Ben Stokes with the last two balls of his 16th over, he had Morne Morkel lbw with the first ball of his next - although Eng­land had to first re­view um­pire Joel Wil­son's not out de­ci­sion.

It meant Moeen had be­come the 13th Eng­land bowler to take a Test hat-trick.

Vic­tory put Eng­land 2-1 up in the four-match se­ries, with just the fourth Test at Old Traf­ford start­ing on Fri­day to come.

South Africa, set a mam­moth 492 for vic­tory, was all out for 252 af­ter lunch, with Worces­ter­shire all-rounder Moeen tak­ing four for 45. But the way this se­ries has see-sawed - Eng­land won the first Test at Lord's by 211 runs and South Africa took the sec­ond at Trent Bridge by 340 runs - will give the Proteas hope of bouncing back in Man­ches­ter.

South Africa re­sumed on 117 for four, with left-handed opener El­gar (72 not out) and Temba Bavuma (16 not out) hav­ing al­ready helped the Proteas re­cover from 52 for four on Sun­day.

Vic­tory was all but be­yond South Africa, with no side hav­ing made more to win in the fourth in­nings of a Test than the West Indies' 418 for seven against Aus­tralia at St John's in 2003. Its more re­al­is­tic, if dif­fi­cult, goal was to bat out the min­i­mum 98 overs on the last day to sal­vage a draw.

Man-of-the-match Stokes, who had taken two wick­ets in two balls on Sun­day to dis­miss Quin­ton de Kock and South Africa cap­tain Faf du Plessis af­ter mak­ing 112 in Eng­land's first in­nings 353, opened the bowl­ing on Mon­day. But it was not long be­fore the gritty El­gar pulled and cut the seam-bowl­ing all­rounder for two fours.

Mean­while Bavuma, who top-scored with 52 in South Africa's mea­gre first in­nings 175,

Roland-Jones dou­ble

But Mid­dle­sex seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who had fol­lowed up his stun­ning Test de­but bowl­ing in­nings re­turn of five for 57 by dis­miss­ing star bats­man Hashim Amla cheaply for the sec­ond time in the match on Sun­day, even­tu­ally ended a part­ner­ship worth 108 runs.

His full-length de­liv­ery struck Bavuma on the pad as the diminu­tive bats­man got only half-for­ward.

Aleem Dar ruled not out but Eng­land re­viewed the ex­pe­ri­enced Pak­istani um­pire's de­ci­sion. Re­plays con­firmed the ball had hit pad first and in­di­cated it would have hit mid­dle stump. Bavuma was out for 32 af­ter a de­fi­ant in­nings of more than two hours.

There was no need for a re­view next ball as South Africa's slumped to 160 for six.

Ver­non Phi­lan­der, who hadd spent much of this match off the field with a stom­ach com­plaint, in­ex­pli­ca­bly padded up to a Roland-Jones de­liv­ery that nipped back and was plumb lbw for a golden duck.

South Africa had some­thing to cheer when the 30 year old El­gar, bat­ting with a bruised fin­ger, scored his eighth cen­tury in 38 Tests by loft­ing Moeen over mid-off for a 16th four in 149 balls.

But Chris Mor­ris, who sur­vived Roland-Jones's hat-trick de­liv­ery, fell for 24 to the last ball be­fore lunch when he edged Moeen to Stokes at slip and the Proteas were fac­ing a heavy de­feat at 205 for seven.

El­gar was in sight of his Test-best score of 140 against New Zealand at Dunedin in March, when, af­ter more than five-and-half hours at the crease, he prod­ded for­ward to Moeen and Stokes did the rest.

(AFP)

Eng­land's Moeen Ali (cen­tre) cel­e­brates with his team­mates af­ter win­ning the third Test against South Africa at The Oval in Lon­don, UK, on Mon­day

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