Sri Lanka A v England: Moeen Ali stars with 56 in warm-up win

Moeen Ali
Moeen has scored 109 runs in three ODI innings as an opener
Warm-up match, Colombo (SSC):
England 145-2 (25 overs) beat Sri Lanka A 198-6 (43 overs) by 56 runs (D/L method)
Match scorecard

Moeen Ali cracked a 21-ball fifty and took three wickets as England completed a resounding victory over Sri Lanka A.

Moeen, preferred to Alex Hales as Alastair Cook's opening partner, hit six fours from his first six legitimate balls on his way to 56 in Colombo.

England limited the hosts to 198-6 off 43 overs after rain delayed the start.

The tourists cruised to 145-2 in 25 overs, with Cook making 54, and won by 56 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method when bad light ended play,

Left-hander Moeen's outstanding display justified his selection ahead of Hales as England get ready to begin their preparations for the World Cup in February and March with seven one-day internationals against Sri Lanka.

The Worcestershire all-rounder's figures of 3-29 from nine overs of off-spin, allied to a miserly 0-20 from eight by seamer Chris Woakes, ensured England were facing a modest target.

And his blistering assault on left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando - whose opening over cost 25 as it contained a wide as well as Moeen's six boundaries - kick-started their run chase and enabled Cook to accumulate more steadily at the other end.

Moeen completed his 50 at the Sinhalese Sports Club with a huge six off spinner Ramith Rambukwella before Cook reached the mark off 58 balls.

After both had been dismissed, Ian Bell made 16 off 35 balls and Joe Root 15 off 16 before the umpires took the players off.

"It was a very good day for the team and I think in all three disciplines, we did pretty well," Moeen told BBC Sport.

Opening the batting in place of Nottinghamshire's Hales, the 27-year-old denied he was under pressure to perform.

"I just go out and enjoy my cricket," he added.

"Today came off brilliantly, other days it won't.

"I know a lot of people haven't seen me opening the batting, but when I do, that's how I play. Obviously some days I won't be as explosive."

England remain in Colombo for their next two games, facing Sri Lanka A again on Sunday, this time at the P Sara Oval, before the first one-day international at the R Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday.

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