Moeen hits Lions half-century before England link-up

MOEEN ALI: Hit half-century before joining England.

MOEEN ALI: Hit half-century before joining England.

First published in Sport

MOEEN Ali stepped up his preparations for England's limited-overs series in West Indies and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh with a half-century and four wickets against Sri Lanka 'A'.

The Worcestershire all-rounder, who earned his first senior call-up earlier this month, made an impact with both bat and ball as England Lions recorded a 167-run victory in Pallekele.

Moeen struck 62 in the first innings, second only to former Worcestershire academy player James Taylor's 70, and followed it up with 2-16 from nine overs as the hosts were dismissed for 171.

With a lead of 159, the Lions made 319-8 in their second innings with Moeen chipping in with 12 runs from 13 balls.

Although not as prolific as his first stint at the crease, the 26-year-old off-spinner took 2-59 off 17 overs as Sri Lanka were all out for 311.

England Lions have moved on to Dambulla for a second match against the hosts tomorrow, while Moeen has linked up with the full national squad in the West Indies.

Bowler Tymal Mills said: "We wished Moeen all the best and, although he will be missed from our squad, it gives someone else an opportunity to come in and impress."

England play a University of West Indies Vice Chancellor's XI next Tuesday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, before the one-day international series with West Indies begins on Friday, February 28.

Moeen said: "I think I can add variety - a bit of batting, bowling and fielding.I just want to get used to the set-up and play a few games.”

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