Moeen Ali hit four sixes in England’s last ball victory over South Africa in Durban. Because he’s Moeen Ali and hasn’t even heard of ugly batting, each and every one of them was a languid, spaghetti-armed thing of wonder.
In all, Moeen hit seven lovely boundaries in his 11-ball innings. Being as the last of those 11 deliveries resulted in his dismissal, this means that Moeen hit 70 per cent of his non-terminal shots for a lovely boundary, which is an unusually high proportion.
One boundary was more lovely than the others though and it was the one that was a very obvious mishit.
Having made 25 off seven balls, Moeen went after a wide one.
Here he is, feet planted in the wrong spot, stretching for it.
You’ll note that as Moeen was entirely aware that this wasn’t an optimal position from which to play the stroke, he ensured he was moving enough that the image would be very blurry so that he couldn’t be identified.
That could be anyone. Maybe it’s Danny Dyer. (It isn’t. It’s Moeen Ali.)
Now here’s a smudgy line that tells you where the ball went.
And now here’s Moeen’s completely normal follow-through for a ball that went where this one did.
So obviously Moeen didn’t hit the ball very well.
He hit it badly, if we’re honest. He mishit it.
Moeen sliced the ball very gravely.
He delivered, at best, a glancing blow.
And this is where the ball went.
If you’re wondering where this is, we can assure you that it’s still Durban because that’s Kingsmead’s giant KFC bucket on the right.
The ball landed among children and drunk people and both groups were very visibly excited about the sudden presence of the spherical interloper.
The shot resulted in six runs being added to Moeen’s score. We’d argue that even though it was a mistake, it deserved more.
It’s like Bob Ross always used to say: there’s no such thing as mistakes, only happy accidents.
We’re not exactly sure how the one Moeen scooped to long-on shortly afterwards would fit into Bob Ross’s world view. We suppose you could argue it made some people happy.