MOEEN ALI produced one of the most spectacular assaults in the history of white ball cricket when he struck eight sixes in 14 balls.
The bearded cult hero broke one record, equalled two more and even outshone the mighty Chris Gayle in the big-hitting stakes.
It meant England easily won the third one-day international against West Indies in Bristol and took an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series with two matches remaining.
Moeen scored 102 from 57 balls, but it was in the second half of his innings that he went berserk. It was truly spectacular stuff.
He accelerated from fifty to his hundred in just 12 balls – the fastest by anyone, anywhere in one-day international cricket.
Moeen said: “I was trying to hit every ball for six, just having a slog really. The ground isn’t too big and some of the bowling was in the slot for me to hit.
“We reached the stage where it was time to press the button. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ball so well. I tried to watch the ball, keep my shape and really go for it.
“As a kid, I did that sort of thing quite regularly in youth cricket but it’s more difficult in first-class and international cricket. I don’t hit it as far as some of the guys but everything came off. I guess it was a mixture of timing and power.”
Cricket legend Shane Warne ‘hit porn star in face in nightclub row’
Meet the Flintoff
Meet Freddie Flintoff, host of Cannonball and England cricket legend
Cricketer Corey Anderson shows off X-Ray of spine with screws twisted in
Cricketers Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow join freshers for another night of carnage
At least three injured as huge hole appears in floor of stand during England T20 against West Indies
Moeen hit eight sixes – equalling the England 50-over record of Jos Buttler – and they came in the space of just 14 deliveries.
In fact, Moeen scored 48 runs in one ten-ball span – the joint-most in the history of one-day cricket, placing him alongside former South African dasher Herschelle Gibbs.
This is how Moeen’s went hell for leather in that sequence – 6624666624.
Moeen’s century was the second-fastest for England in ODIs, behind Buttler’s fusillade against Pakistan in Dubai a couple of years ago.
By comparison, Gayle was positively sedate with his 94 from 78 deliveries with six sixes.
Once Gayle was run out – yet again – the Windies innings folded rapidly and England won by the huge margin of 124 runs.
With Joe Root and Ben Stokes scoring 84 and 73 respectively at better than a run-a-ball, the platform was laid for Moeen’s pyrotechnics.
His first 30 runs occupied 32 balls but then he started swinging and swinging hard.
Back-to-back overs from Miguel Cummins and Jason Holder cost 25 apiece with Moeen contributing 48 of the 50 runs.
He was dropped a couple of times, on 87 by Gayle at backward point and twice by bowler Ashley Nurse once he had passed three figures.
It showed that clearing the boundary is not all about brute strength. Moeen hits a long ball with timing as much as power.
Root passed an aggregate 10,000 runs for England in all three formats and he will at least double and perhaps triple that figure by the time he has finished.
He also exceeded Graham Gooch’s record of 1,277 international runs in a home summer although Root has played 24 innings compared to Gooch’s 15.
Root and Stokes came together when captain Eoin Morgan was caught behind for a golden duck, extending his drought to 22 runs in his last nine innings.
For all Root’s stylish strokeplay and Stokes’ brutal power, their running between the wickets was the smartest feature of a partnership that yielded 132 runs in 20 overs.
Stokes was caught at deep cover, Root nailed lbw and Buttler bowled by a beauty but Moeen, after his watchful start, tore into the attack.
West Indies had a sniff all the time Gayle was batting but he perished to Adil Rashid’s direct hit from mid-wicket.
Liam Plunkett finished with his first five-wicket haul in one-day internationals and Rashid, who didn’t bowl while Gayle was batting, snared three late victims.
Romelu Lukaku misses Man Utd bus home after struggling to provide urine sample
You Cavan’ a laugh?
Cavani ‘rejects £880k PSG bonus to pass on penalty duties to Neymar’
Jose Mourinho set to dodge FA rap after being sent off against Southampton
Man City keeper Ederson reveals Sadio Mane sent him a text after horror collision
THAT’S MOR LIKE IT
Alvaro Morata thanks Chelsea fans for changing controversial song lyrics