Moeen dismissed South African trio Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel as England won the Third Test
MOEEN ALI took three wickets in three sensational balls yesterday — then revealed his only other hat-tricks were playing football.
Moeen dismissed South African trio Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel to seal England’s victory by 239 runs in the Third Test.
And the bearded all-rounder insisted: “I’ve never taken a hat-trick in any sort of cricket.
“I’ve scored a few hat-tricks in our football warm-ups but this is a different sort of feeling – a much better one!”
It was the first Test hat-trick ever taken at The Oval and it came in the 100th Test played at the famous old ground.
Moeen’s triple was also the first hat-trick to win a Test since 1902.
He took the first two wickets with the final two deliveries of one over and had to wait another six balls before getting Morkel lbw.
The Proteas’ No 11 was initially adjudged not out but sent back to the pavilion on review.
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Moeen, who has 18 wickets in the series, is making the England management’s claim that he is their second spinner look daft. But the kidology seems to be working.
Moeen added: “Broady told me it was the best opportunity I’d ever get for a hat-trick with a No 11, a left-hander, on strike.
“I just tried to hold my composure and bowl as straight as I could.
“I was pretty confident about the review because I knew the ball was hitting the stumps.
“I’ve always enjoyed having another spinner in the team. It takes a bit of pressure off and means I don’t overthink.”
South Africa’s only prolonged resistance came from opener Elgar, who took a barrage of blows while making 136.
England captain Joe Root said: “It was a special way to finish the 100th Test here.
“Mo’s been talking us through the hat-trick for the last half-hour!”
Injured fast bowler Mark Wood is omitted from England’s 13-man squad for the Fourth Test so Steven Finn comes in.
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