Chennai Super Kings‘ Moeen Ali recorded his highest IPL score on Friday, when he finished with 93 runs off 57 balls against the Rajasthan Royals at the Brabourne Stadium. Ali was in the mood right from the start of his innings as he clubbed 13 fours and 3 sixes in his thunderous knock which, however, tapered off in the second half after an astonishing start.
Ali walked in as early as in the second over after CSK had lost Ruturaj Gaikwad to Trent Boult. Not only did Moeen take up the responsibility to score – but did it in style, and in his elegant aggression. Using the gift of his impeccable timing and clarity in placing the ball, Moeen Ali rumbled CSK from 15/1 at the end of the third over to 75/1 at the end of the sixth.
Ali was 0* off 4 balls at one point. Then a scintillating flow of boundaries began from his bat. He first clattered Prasidh Krishna 4, 4, 0, 6, 4, 0. Predictably, then RR skipper Sanju Samson brought on off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. It was thrilling and bold to see Ali then take apart Ashwin – a boundary toward deep extra cover, then a boundary over mid-on, and then a six over cover. Ali was toying with the champion off-spinner.
The last over of the powerplay, bowled by Boult, put Ali’s form in the game in focus. Rarely has Boult, the new ball, powerplay specialist got a pasting as he did today by the Englishman. The last over of the powerplay, Boult to Moeen Ali, read: 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4.
The first ball was sent over the deep square leg boundary with his powerful wrists and a gorgeous rapid flow of his bat.
And then the five consecutive fours: a chipped whip and one bounce to mid-wicket; a slower ball picked up and nicely placed just wide of the running long-on; opened the face of his face and guided a short delivery over short third man which also brought up his fifty off just 19 balls; a sumptuous cut and a crisp drive through the off-side ring to conclude a terrific over for the batter.
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