#CWC15: Moeen Ali ton gives England first points over Scotland

MATCH 14: A Moeen Ali century enabled England to pick up its first points of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, securing a 119-run win over Scotland on Monday.

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England totalled a healthy 303 for eight and then the bowlers grabbed some early Scotland wickets to boost confidence in what was a must win game.

A cautious opening stand between Ali and Ian Bell moved up a gear when the ball stopped swinging with Moeen taking command.

While Bell remained calm, his 54 coming from 85 balls, Moeen brought up his fifty in 39 deliveries. When he raised his bat for three figures there were enough overs left in the innings for him to have a comfortable crack at Robin Smith’s England record score of 167 that has stood for 22 years.

England were 172 for no loss at the 30-over mark, a platform that should have seen them out of sight. But Bell punched one straight to mid-off, and soon after Moeen (128) slogged one to the midwicket fielder. Scotland, sensed this was its best opportunity to strike, pounced.

Moeen Ali made 128 from 107 balls

Ballance fell for 10 off 18 balls, Joe Root tickled Davey to the ‘keeper, and England had lost four wickets for 23 runs in the space of six overs. In five Power Play overs, England managed 22 runs, losing two wickets.

Eoin Morgan and James Taylor combined, but had to consolidate for the initial period of their 49 run stand. Then Taylor shuffled down the pitch to Davey, who fired the ball in wide and Matthew Cross, the wicketkeeper, smartly gloved the ball and dove back to break the stumps. It was the kind of stumping that lifted the entire fielding team, a moment of brilliance.

That brought Buttler to the crease with a bit of time to tee up the big shots. Unorthodox, but always looking to be aggressive, Buttler’s 24 from 14 balls lifted the innings, and Morgan joined in the home-stretch fun. Clearing his front leg and tonking the ball back down the ground with power, Morgan collected a 42-ball 46 to take England to 303 for 8.

The Scottish team was optimistic, but scoreboard pressure and the extra pace of the English attack proved challenging. Kyle Coetzer hit the ball sweetly at the top of the order, clattering his way to 71 even as wickets fell with regularity at the other end.

Once it was three down for only 54, the chase was in deep trouble. Scotland was bowled out for 184 in the 43rd over, giving England victory by 119 runs.

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James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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