Now do it one mo time down un­der!

Eng­land’s Moeen Ali, who also saw his Worces­ter­shire side earn pro­mo­tion, is our fifth and fi­nal win­ner of The Cricket Pa­per’s ‘All-Rounder of the Month’ award for 2017, which recog­nises out­stand­ing all-round per­for­mances at all lev­els. The award is in pa

The Cricket Paper - - FEATURE - Mark Bald­win, Chair­man of the Cricket Writ­ers' Club

While one Eng­land all-rounder had his Septem­ber shrouded in con­tro­versy for off-the­field ac­tions, an­other Three Lions man was snatch­ing the head­lines for his work in­side the boundary.

Moeen Ali starred as Eng­land beat the West In­dies in an ODI se­ries on these shores, bag­ging his coun­try’s sec­ond-quick­est cen­tury as he smashed his way to three fig­ures off just 53 balls.

Moeen en­joyed a suc­cess­ful English sea­son, mak­ing 361 runs and tak­ing 30 wick­ets in the Tests against South Africa and West In­dies ear­lier in the year, but his stun­ning cen­tury is what his 2017 sum­mer will be re­mem­bered for.

And af­ter get­ting him­self in, as he made a run-a-ball 39, he then went from rais­ing his bat for 50 to do­ing the same for a cen­tury just 12 de­liv­er­ies later. The 53 balls Moeen needed is sec­ond only to Jos But­tler’s 46-ball hun­dred against Pak­istan in 2015 in terms of fastest cen­turies by Eng­land bats­men.

And af­ter such a bril­liant end to the sum­mer, and with the Ashes on the hori­zon, for­mer Eng­land cap­tain Nasser Hus­sain has praised the im­pact the 30-year-old can have on the coun­try’s crick­et­ing fu­ture.

Hus­sain said: “You look at Moeen Ali now, I think he’s a mas­sive role model for what we should try and achieve in the fu­ture.

“Moeen Ali be­comes one of the most im­por­tant and in­flu­en­tial peo­ple for English cricket in the years ahead be­cause of every­thing he en­com­passes. The way he en­com­passes his faith, where he’s from – he knows ex­actly where he’s from – and what he wants to do and achieve.

“I think as a so­ci­ety in Eng­land we should be very proud of what Moeen Ali’s do­ing as an Eng­land crick­eter.

“A role model is not just a goody two-shoes, not just some­one who does every­thing in the right way. A role model is some­one who shows you that what they are do­ing for their coun­try is se­ri­ously im­por­tant.”

As well as that magic cen­tury, Ali’s golden sum­mer in­cluded 10 wick­ets in the match at Lord’s against South Africa and a hat-trick to seal vic­tory at the Oval against the same op­po­si­tion.

In Septem­ber, he also led Eng­land to a Duck­worth-Lewis vic­tory over the Windies in an ODI at the Oval. An un­beaten 48 from 25 balls came as the rain started to fall and saw the hosts claim a six-run vic­tory.

Eng­land ODI cap­tain Eoin Mor­gan said: “We were up against it and knew there was rain com­ing, but at no stage were we flus­tered. It was an ex­tremely con­fi­dent in­nings from Moeen. His bat looks even wider than it nor­mally does and it’s great to see some­one in form like that.”

Moeen didn’t have as much suc­cess with the ball in the fi­nal month of the sea­son, though showed his worth in the open­ing clash against the Windies at Old Traf­ford, claim­ing the wicket of Evin Lewis in his two overs bowled.

He then fin­ished the sum­mer in Southamp­ton with a won­der­ful 1-36 from ten overs, con­ced­ing just one boundary and hav­ing Marlon Sa­muels stumped.

And Aus­tralian spin bowl­ing leg­end Shane Warne has praised the way Moeen now bowls, hav­ing been told he wasn’t Eng­land’s No.1 spin­ner last win­ter. Warne said: “Moeen has im­proved in terms of his pace and also the line he bowls.

“He al­ways used to bowl just out­side off stump and now he has changed his line to a lit­tle fur­ther out­side off stump which is a more at­tack­ing line. He has grown in con­fi­dence as well. He has ac­cepted his role.

“He is the No.1 spin­ner, he is go­ing to bat at seven or eight and he is just get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter and get­ting more revs on the ball.

“He has also done the hard yards. When­ever we turn up at a Test we al­ways see him out there bowl­ing. When he first started I don’t think he did much of that.

“Now he is work­ing ev­ery day at get­ting bet­ter and it is show­ing in re­sults.”

Hav­ing picked up the All-rounder of the Month for Septem­ber, Moeen’s next chal­lenge comes in the Ashes, with Eng­land fly­ing Down Un­der be­fore the end of this month.

It will be the spin­ner’s first Test se­ries in Aus­tralia, hav­ing made his de­but in 2014, though he took 12 wick­ets in the home se­ries in 2015.

And for­mer Eng­land cap­tain Michael Vaughan says Moeen has to flour­ish if Eng­land are to have any chance of re­tain­ing the urn.

Vaughan said: “He is just a class act. His off-spin will be chal­lenged in Aus­tralian con­di­tions. Not many fin­ger spin­ners have suc­cess in Aus­tralia. He has to do the hold­ing role then in the sec­ond in­nings at­tack if there is any rough.

“With the bat, he has to be the Moeen Ali we have seen for the last cou­ple of years and cre­ate chaos. He has to ex­pect plenty of bounc­ers and the way he hooks the ball in the air on big grounds in Aus­tralia will be his chal­lenge.” We are de­lighted The Cricket Pa­per, Hares­foot Brew­ery, Lord's Tav­ern­ers and our­selves linked up ear­lier in the year to ini­ti­ate this new award, which has re­flected all-round con­tri­bu­tions made by in­di­vid­u­als to the suc­cess of cricket teams at many lev­els of the game. I am sure Moeen will pass on his win­ning crate to his Worces­ter­shire team-mates! When, two years ago, we com­mis­sioned Hares­foot to pro­duce All-Rounder: Cricket Writ­ers' Club Ale, we did so in the be­lief that cricket and beer is a mar­riage to be ranked along­side the likes of straw­ber­ries and cream, Lillee and Thom­son, Greenidge and Haynes, and horses and car­riages. The beer was cre­ated with in­put from a group of our mem­bers, and we are so pleased that All-Rounder has not only been well­re­ceived com­mer­cially but that it pro­vided the spark of an idea which re­sulted in the cre­ation of this monthly award dur­ing the 2017 sea­son.

More at­tack­ing: Moeen has al­tered his bowl­ing line

PIC­TURES: Getty Images

Stun­ning: Moeen Ali cel­e­brates his ton in the 3rd ODI against the West In­dies Get out of here: Moeen smashes a six at the Oval

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