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Moeen Ali becomes first English player to win the IPL

Moeen Ali

 

Moeen Ali became the first England player to win the IPL after his unbeaten 37 off 20 balls helped Chennai Super Kings see off Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in the final in Dubai.

Ali and Morgan will shortly join up with England team-mates ahead of their opening Twenty20 World Cup game against West Indies at the same venue a week on Saturday.

But Ali, who has faced pressure for his England place from Liam Livingstone, will do so in better spirits after his stand of 68 with Faf du Plessis (86 off 59 balls) lifted MS Dhoni’s CSK to a formidable 192 for three.

At 91 without loss in the 11th over, Kolkata were in with a shout. But opener Shubman Gill chewed up 43 balls for his 51, putting pressure on his team-mates.

As the rate rose, Kolkata crumbled: eight wickets fell for 34 runs, including Morgan for four, leaving the England captain with a modest tournament haul of 133 runs from 16 innings at an average of 11 and a strike rate of 95.

He could hardly be in worse form as he sets about trying to unite the 20-over title with the 50-over World Cup he lifted at Lord’s two years ago.

Ali and Morgan will shortly join up with England team-mates ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup

Ali, though, was jubilant after CSK celebrated their fourth IPL triumph.

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‘It’s an amazing feeling,’ he said. ‘I could have been dropped a couple of games ago. I feel like it’s such a grounded and humble team, and great to be a part of.’

Earlier, Gill was lucky to survive a catch in the deep because his slog-sweep had hit the wire holding the spider cam — automatically rendering the delivery a dead ball.

 

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