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Wednesday, Nov 13th

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England National Cricket Selectors have named the following 13-man squad for the first Test match against West Indies starting at Edgbaston on Thursday August 17.

The Squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire, captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire, wk), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Stoneman (Surrey), Tom Westley (Essex), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire) 

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Moeen Ali completed a magnificent all-round match and series when he ripped the heart out of the Proteas middle and lower order to set England up for another big win – this time by 177 runs – in the final Test match which finished Old Trafford in London on Monday. The result gave England a 3-1 series win and represented the first time they had beaten South Africa in a home Test Series since 1998.

Moeen captured his second five-wicket haul of the series to finish the leading wicket-taker with 25 dismissals – five better than Jimmy Anderson – at an average of 25.64 to go with the 252 runs he scored at an average of 36.

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South Africa showed their character in making a spirited fightback with the ball before a spectacular counter-attack by Moeen Ali made sure England maintained their advantage on the third day of the final Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday.

At one stage the Proteas had England six down for 134 runs which placed England 270 ahead but Ali then put his foot down and when rain brought an early close he had contributed an unbeaten 67 (59 balls, 8 fours and 3 sixes) to an England total of 224/8 which gave the home side an overall lead of 360 runs. In the process Moeen made a mockery of the difficulties the other batsmen had had in coming to terms with a difficult pitch as he launched a calculated attack on Keshav Maharaj.

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The failure to convert starts was a disappointing feature of the Standard Bank Proteas’ performance on day two of the fourth Test match against England at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday. The top six batsmen – bar Dean Elgar - all made solid encouraging starts, but failed to convert the foundations into meaningful contributions.

Batsman, Hashim Amla, says the shortcomings have been ‘frustrating’ for the batting unit, who face another tough battle with the first innings score on 220/9 with a deficit of 142 runs.  

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South Africa' chances of winning the fourth Test match to share the series slipped sharply at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday when they headed for a massive first innings deficit for the second match in a row.

With the top order batsmen again failing to put substantial runs on the board the Proteas reached the close on 220/9 for an overall deficit of 142 runs. At one stage it looked like being a great deal worse before their tail-end batsmen rode their luck with the last three wickets to fall adding 74 runs to the total.

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Keshav Maharaj provided the glue that enabled a relatively inexperienced Proteas attack to keep England in check on the opening day of the fourth Test match at Old Trafford in London on Friday.

With both Vernon Philander and Chris Morris ruled out by back injuries the Proteas were forced to revert to a four-man attack as they had employed in the first Test match with Theunis de Bruyn and Duanne Olivier being named as the respective replacements.

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South African captain, Faf du Plessis, says the batsmen must take inspiration from Dean Elgar’s fighting innings in the 239-run loss to England in the third Test match at The Oval on Monday. Elgar copped several blows to the hand and body during a resilient counter attack,  which was the highlight of a disappointing performance in the match.

Elgar’s century is South Africa’s first of the series, and will give a struggling batting unit belief it is possible, despite the challenging conditions and a brilliant England attack.

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