Moeen Ali, who starred in England’s dominant six-wicket win over the West Indies in their T20 World Cup 2021 opener on Saturday, talked of the significance of his time with the Chennai Super Kings at the IPL 2021. Moeen returned 2/17 as West Indies were skittled out for 55 in 8.2 overs.
England were somewhat challenged during their run-chase of 56, losing four wickets in an innings that lasted 8.2 overs. That however, was enough to fetch them two points and a healthy net run-rate (NRR) of +3.970 after their first match of the T20 World Cup.
The foundation was laid by Moeen Ali though, who first took a well-judged running catch to send back Evin Lewis, before dismissing Lendl Simmons and Shimron Hetmyer to round off a highly impressive spell of 4-1-17-2. Adil Rashid (2.2-0-2-4) and Tymal Mills (2/17) were the other chief performers, as West Indies were bundled out for 55 in 14.2 overs - their second lowest score in the format.
Moeen, who was an integral part of Chennai Super Kings’ IPL 2021 triumph recently, said that his time with the franchise was the “perfect preparation” coming into the tournament.
"A catch like that gives you a bit of confidence, I think it settled my nerves a bit," said Moeen of his superbly judged running catch from mid-on, as he received the Player of the Match award.
"They do have a lot of left-handers at the top, so I knew I would be bowling early on. The role at CSK is very important for me, it feels like I'm always involved with bat and ball and on the field too, and it was the perfect preparation coming into the World Cup."
Skipper Eoin Morgan acknowledged the brilliance of his bowlers, and was especially impressed with Moeen and Tymal Mills, the latter of whom played his first T20I after four years.
“It's as good as it gets,” said Morgan on the win. “To start our campaign like that, all credit to our bowling unit. The guys were very disciplined, and we took our chances. I think Moeen Ali read the conditions beautifully, he took chances when his match-up was in his favour, and to take his opportunity like he has, after the success he's had in the IPL was brilliant.
“I'm delighted for Big T (Tymal Mills). He's had an unfortunate journey at times, but he's now as good as I've ever seen him, especially with his fitness. We were [thinking of NRR, and held back Malan], we wanted guys to go after the bowling, but that was difficult today on that pitch."