English international cricketer Moeen Ali admitted that he told Alastair Cook to take him off if he didn’t succeed in bowling maidens during the second test against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
The hosts took the field on day one of the penultimate test and started the innings in phenomenal fashion with Tamim Iqbal scoring a century while fellow batsman Mominul Haque amassed 66 runs.
Bangladesh were in control of proceedings with 171-1 and it was the genius of the talented off-spinner that overturned the fortunes for England as The Tigers succumbed to a remarkable collapse, ending at 220 all out.
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Ali succeeded in breaking the 170-run partnership, and ultimately finished off the Bangladesh innings, picking up a five wickets and conceding only 57 runs in his 19.5 overs.
However, he disclosed it was the spell of fast bowler Ben Stokes with 2-13 in 11 overs that inspired him to instruct his captain to not bowl him in case he leaked runs.
Sky Sports quoted the 29-year-old saying: “Stokesy was the main guy. He was reversing it at good pace, and hitting a brilliant length as well.
“I actually told Cooky, if I’m not bowling maidens, then take me off. I put pressure on myself to do that, and it paid off.”
He revealed the delight to restrict the hosts after beginning in a dismal manner.
“Considering where we were at one stage after lunch, we’re obviously very pleased to have bowled them out. They batted really well. They were aggressive, and Tamim, when he plays like that, is hard to stop.”
The Birmingham-born spinner hailed the quality batting of the opposition, but was confident of a comeback if England triumphed in getting wickets in succession.
“He [Tamim] scores in areas where it's difficult to put fielders in. Some of his shots over extra cover are particularly good, and he's got a very solid defence actually, especially against spin.
“But we knew once we got a couple of wickets, we could roll them out. Stokesy and myself built the pressure on them, and then got our rewards.”
But, Ali’s involvement in the day’s work was not finished yet as he took the pitch to see out the remaining overs of the day, this time as a batsman.
He, along with Joe Root, remained on the crease thereby ending the day with England at 50-3.
Ali further added: "To lose the three wickets before the close of play was disappointing. It's going to be tough for our batsmen. We're going to have to bat really well.
“Me and Rooty are both pretty positive against spin. We will have to play quite smart, look to score, and not just prod away.
“I'd say things are 50/50 at the moment in the match. But we're going to take the game to them, and try to build a big partnership.”
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