Moeen Ali disappoints at opening opportunity

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Football News

Moeen Ali slipped up in the race between him and Alex Hales to become England's next opening batsmen, falling for 22 against Pakistan A.

Ali picked to open the batting, in the first warm-up match of the UAE tour, with Alastair Cook, posted a moderate 22 against a strong Pakistan A side, containing eight test players and Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, led by Junaid Khan.

Ali fell hooking to fine leg, where he was caught by Ehsan Adil, off the bowling of Zia-ul-Haq. 


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Jonny Bairstow scored an unbeaten 66 to aid his cause to become England's No.5 batsmen ahead of James Taylor. 

Bairstow put on 103 late in the day with Adil Rashid who made 51 not out and looked fluent after a tricky start, taking 46 deliveries to hit a boundary. 

Rashid is currently favourite for a spot as the second spinner in the side ahead of Samit Patel and showed that he has improved the batting element of his game, looking particularly comfortable against the spinners.

Meanwhile, Pakistan A used their spinners extensively throughout the innings bowling 50 overs of the day's play. Young left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar, only 20-years-old, was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-72 including the wickets of half-centurion Cook, Ian Bell and Jos Buttler. Ben Stokes also fell for six to the off-spin of Iftikhar Ahmed.

Bell scored 19 off 58 balls batting in the hottest point of the day with the temperatures reaching more than 40 degrees. 

Possibly England's main worry was the performance of wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who fell for just one. He was given out lbw to a spinner, another big concern considering the last series between these two teams had a record 43 lbws over the three matches.

Buttler could find his place under threat if he does not improve his form with Bairstow snapping at his heels.

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