A hat-trick by Moeen Ali helped England seal a 239-run win over South Africa at the Oval on Monday. After an inconsistent series, the England side led by Joe Root will predictably upbeat after the win. Speaking at the post match presentation, Root said that celebrating the hundredth Test at Oval could not have a better conclusion than this.
“It’s been a great week for us. What a way to celebrate hundredth Test on this ground. We got the tempo and scored runs in the first innings. Very crucial, in these conditions we could have been easily 4-5 down. But the way he (Cook) played, it was exceptional. We don’t make excuses, we are always looking to improve.”
Commenting on Dawid Malan, Root said, ” He would have liked to score a few more runs but that can happen in Test cricket. It’s great to see him (Roland-Jones) come in and take to Test cricket like duck to water. I think it is important to look at the wickets and make decisions.”
For an all-round performance, Ben Stokes was awarded with the man of the match award. Speaking on his innings, Stokes said, “It was hard to bat early on. It was difficult, especially with Vernon Philander. It is pleasing when you get through those hard times and then get some runs. I always try and play my cricket in the same way. Look to be positive. I asked Joe if it was sliding down, there were two sounds as well (on Moeen Ali’s hat-trick wicket). Credit to Elgar as well the way he played. The last spell I bowled at Trent Bridge was a confidence booster. We start again on Friday, we will want to do the same (repeat the performance).”