Moeen Ali underlines his No1 status by spinning South Africa to defeat

With his five-wicket burst, Moeen became the second England cricketer after Sir Ian Botham to take 25 wickets and score more than 250 runs in a series

It had to be Moeen Ali, the man of Joe Root’s first summer as Test captain, who would pick the lock that sent England hurtling towards a 177-run win at Old Trafford and what was their first series win over South Africa at home in 19 years.After his 10 wickets and 96 runs at Lord’s came his hat-trick at The Oval, before the audacious counterattack with the bat here on the third evening was followed by figures of five for 69 in England’s fourth-innings surge,

The shining smile that resides above the luxuriant beard has been an enduring image throughout this 3-1 defence of the Basil D’Oliviera Trophy.

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