Turns out we’re really rather delighted that Moeen Ali made a daddy hundred

Posted by
< 1 minute read

Cricket - England v India - Fourth Investec Test - Day Two - Old Trafford, Manchester

A daddy hundred’s anything over 150, right? Sounds about right. Graham Gooch should get in touch to correct us if we’re wrong.

Sometimes it’s not entirely obvious how you feel about a player until you’ve seen what they’ve done without actually watching it happen. We were out all day and when we thought to check the Test score, Moeen Ali had made a hundred. We were somewhat unexpectedly delighted by this.

Checking the score gives you a purer experience. You don’t get chance to come to terms with what’s happened. The facts just hit you and you’re forced to react instantaneously. Turns out we really like Moeen Ali.

We sort of feel pleased for Chris Woakes in a ‘good on him’ kind of way as well. There’s a bit less clarity on that one, we’ll be honest.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. What I am not pleased about is the one-sided nature of this series. England have probably scored 300 more than they need for an innings victory.

    1. Seconded.

      I’m actually wondering whether Bangladesh might have put up a bit more of a fight.

    2. Ged coughs politely to attract attention to Bert’s prediction a couple of days ago.

  2. I’m not surprised. I feel that Moeen Ali is a very likeable cricketer. Late at night, with wine in my stomach, I’m going to try and explain why I think this is.

    Everyone loves a player achieving at his non-specialist discipline. Whether it’s Trott prising out a wicket with dobble, Jimmy reverse-sweeping for four (although he’s become a touch too good at that these days), or Monty taking a diving catch. It feels like there’s hope for all of us when a part-timer succeeds.

    Moeen Ali seems to be considering by the majority (of the vocal Internet anyway) as a part-timer in everything. He’s primarily a batsman, so he must be a part-time spinner. But he usually bats at eight (or at three for a second-division side), so he must be a bowling all-rounder. So when he scores runs or takes wickets, there’s a feeling that he’s succeeded against the odds. His mediocre Test averages only enhance this.

    And he scores runs so beautifully. He’s equally likely to stroke a four with souplesse as he is to spoon one to cover. His batting is entertaining, whatever happens, whether he scores runs or gets out. And as a number eight, when he does get out, it doesn’t feel like as much of a frustrating waste of beauty and talent as it does when someone like Bell does the same, because he’s part of the tail and spooning one to cover when trying to loft a six is what a number eight does.

    Then there’s the man himself. He’s brilliantly understated, and here might be where the difference between himself and Woakes comes in. Woakes is, after hitting the gym to up his pace, all muscle and perfectly coiffed hair. To the extent that a lady on my cricket forum is a tad soft on him. He comes in and bowls at pushing 90mph, with the classical action. He doesn’t look or feel an underdog.

    Contrast with Moeen. He’s a scrawny-looking chap, especially when he bowls. He talks with unaffected modesty in a thick Brummie accent (listen to his post-match interview on TMS if you’ve yet to really take to him). He’s naïve enough to wear political wristbands to a match, and to admit that he’d rather not bat at eight while still sounding like he’s just happy to be there. He’s the antithesis of the smooth posh white cricket stereotype that one imagines would be Giles Clarke’s ideal cricketer.

    Not to mention the stonking beard. I think we can all appreciate the beard.

    Or maybe I’m completely wrong in assuming other people’s reasons, and you oh King just love him for his unarsedness (here would be a link to his previous century if it were earlier or I were more adept with html – search “kings in defeat” on the site if you so wish). All I know is that I’m very happy for the chap, and hope that he’ll grab a five-fer this season to get Boycott purring about how “he’s got a golden arm, he gets wikkits”, with the unstated implication that he shouldn’t really because he’s not good enough.

    1. It is lots of fun watching guys, with zero footwork but a languid wristwork/flow such as Moeen, Sehwag or Sadagopan Ramesh score runs.

    2. Why is Moeen soupless? If he is, what is the need for a spoon? Do we know if he’s provided bread by the ECB?

      Or is this some French thing?

  3. Perfect except for the beard…
    Why do men like beards?
    I guess because you don’t have to wake up next to one
    or kiss one
    or watch food lodge in one

    1. Men like beards because they are a manly sign of manliness. They mark the real man out as a true man. Along with expensive watches and cars, they are the sign of the alpha male. Women always love men like this, even when they claim not to by walking away and ignoring them.

      1. Compared to expensive watches and fast cars, beards have the added advantage of affordability.

        Indeed the opportunity cost of growing a beard is the time saved by not having to shave in the morning (minus the time spent cleaning and arranging the facial hair) which results in a net gain of time, which can be spent making money or having a rest or indeed anything manly or unmanly you so desire.

    2. I don’t suppose you have ever cut yourself shaving your face, Jill?

      It tends to happen when you are rushing to get out to a really important meeting. The cut tends to occur on that part of your face that, however hard you try to stem the bleeding and cover up the error, will either bleed all over the collar of your shirt or require a giant plaster that, much like the bloody short collar, announces to the world how bad you are at shaving.

      Man stuff isn’t all hirsute snogging and food storage, you know. If only it were.

  4. Love Moeen. I worry that he is a minnow bully and won’t last against the top teams because he doesn’t move his feet. I’m not counting Australia in that bracket. But love him all the same.

  5. I really want Woakes to succeed, I truly do. He’s evidently worked hard not to simply put that yard of pace on, but to upkeep it (when he made his test debut a few balls touched 90mph). The idea of a genuine all rounder touching 90mph is always appetising, but at moments of lull like this when he’s bowling short of a length wide of the leg stump he just feels average.

    Even his wickets felt a bit hollow due to how the opposition flopped in the first innings. He’s obviously not average but needs to start showing he has something extra before the selectors ditch him for the next flavour of the month

    1. Those weird times when Craig White’s bowling got genuinely sharp.

      I liked Craig White.

  6. Altogether now… eight NIL, to the Engurland in this experimental multi-format aggregated series, eight NIL to the Engurland…

  7. Meanwhile at Taunton… Somerset win! Never in doubt! Get that right up yus, $lurrey!

  8. If Rob Key scored a century, would you be able to sum up your complex feelings about them in an instantaneous reaction, though? Perhaps Mark Ramprakash would be easier. Perhaps that’s part of the reason for calling him up so often, they needed to judge him by looking at his score as part of an England side, rather than a county side where their opinion of Indians and wish that every batsman be either VVS Laxman or Sachin Tendulkar might have clouded their judgement.

    In general, though, with Sri Lankan sides it might actually be a more involved emotional rollercoaster than the match itself.

Comments are closed.