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
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
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