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Moeen and Woakes hail England's Headingley revival

80   //    29 Aug 2017, 03:15 IST
Moeen Ali - cropped
Moeen Ali hits out at Headingley

Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes each lauded a "fantastic" team batting effort after helping England seize the upper hand on day four of the second Test with West Indies at Headingley.

Having begun Monday on 171-3, holding a slender lead of two, England capitalised on an ill-disciplined fielding display from the Windies to post 490-8 declared and set a fourth-innings target of 322 that was subsequently reduced by five before stumps.

Moeen (84 from 93 balls) and Woakes (61 not out from 104) played key roles for the hosts, taking the tally of half-centuries in the innings to six after Mark Stoneman, Joe Root, Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes had also passed 50.

"We're very happy to be in this position, at the start of the day we probably wouldn't have thought we would be and it's fantastic," said Moeen, who produced the day's standout innings.

"I feel with the team we have and the strength we have we were capable of being in this position. We felt the first couple of days we certainly didn't play well and we had to show some fight and determination.

"We tired the bowlers out, capitalised on that and made them pay a little bit. [There were] a lot of catches dropped and no-ball wickets, which went our way as well."

Woakes, making his Test return after a side strain, added: "To start the day three down and just about level and be in this position now is fantastic.

"[There were] some really good innings, Dawid Malan, in particular, tied the bowlers down and allowed us to come in at the end and play quite freely.

"After the first innings [when West Indies led by 169] we were very much behind the eight ball. To even be in this position, we're delighted to have the opportunity to go out and potentially win a Test match."

Not for the first time this year, Moeen was able to hail England's batting depth, with his own all-round talents complemented by those of Stokes, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and Woakes.

"Over the last couple of years we feel with the four of us, one will get the opposition. We thrive on that. We know we've got the ability to do that," said Moeen.

"It's great when guys at the top like Rooty [skipper Joe Root], [Dawid] Malan and Cooky [Alastair Cook] get runs, then we can come in and capitalise.

"If we are struggling, because we see ourselves as proper batters it's a great situation to have as a team."

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