6:49pm Sunday 1st June 2014
MOEEN Ali scored his first century of the season as promotion-chasing Worcestershire dominated the opening day of the LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Surrey at the Kia Oval.
The England all-rounder had scored 99 in his previous championship innings against Derbyshire at New Road on April 29 and has had to wait five weeks for another knock in red ball cricket.
He reached three figures off 179 balls with three sixes and nine fours as Worcestershire closed on 329-4 from 96 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat.
It was perfect timing for Moeen with the England selectors due to shortly name the squad for the opening Test against Sri Lanka.
He finished unbeaten on 138 from 241 balls with four sixes and 10 fours.
Moeen started off in ultra aggressive mood with 35 off 43 balls before lunch including three sixes.
But, as Surrey bowled a tighter line after the opening session, Moeen was content to get his head down and play a lengthy innings.
Skipper Daryl Mitchell, Matt Pardoe and Tom Fell also made sizeable contributions for the visitors.
Openers Mitchell and Pardoe were confronted with a short boundary, with the wicket situated towards the gasometer side of the ground, and adapted an aggressive approach.
Pardoe top-edged Jade Dernbach for six over third man and there were a few false strokes but the Worcestershire pair flourished and Pardoe reached his first 50 of the campaign.
He was bowled by former Worcestershire spinner Gareth Batty for 52 with the total on 88 in the 21st over.
Mitchell continued his excellent start to the season and survived one dropped chance, by former County colleague Vikram Solanki, before being bowled shouldering arms for 62 to Chris Tremlett with a delivery which jagged back sharply.
His partnership with Moeen was worth 87 in 27 overs.
Fell pulled Jason Roy for six but Moeen was content to graft away after lunch and only scored 40 in the middle session of the day off 105 balls.
His 100 eventually arrived out of 267-2 in the 75th over and the century partnership with Fell came up in 28 overs.
Fell (42) missed a full toss and was trapped lbw by Zafar Ansari in the last over before the second new ball was due and Alexei Kervezee (6) fell to Tremlett.
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