Moeen’s crucial dismissals of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith helped limit Australia to 116-4 at the close of play, with a lead of 142 runs.
Earlier, England had been bowled out for 237, but captain Ben Stokes played a heroic innings, scoring 80 runs to rescue his team from a precarious position of 142-7.
“We have a good chance,” Moeen stated optimistically.
During an interview with Test Match Special, he added, “It’s pleasing that the day ended well, and we find ourselves in a position where we can win.”
Australia currently leads the five-match series with a 2-0 advantage.
Moeen, who came out of Test retirement to replace the injured Jack Leach in this series, acknowledged the confidence instilled by Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum. They have shown the team’s ability to chase down challenging targets, having successfully pursued totals of 378, 299, 296, and 277 since their tenure began. Notably, they famously chased down 359 against Australia at Headingley in 2019, thanks to Stokes.
“Whatever target they set, we will have to try and chase it,” Moeen remarked. “The pitch is still decent. We have exceptional players, and the outfield is fast. It requires a couple of players to settle in. I’m unsure about the score, but ideally, we would like to chase 260 from this position.”
Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook shared his opinion with Sport News Center, stating, “England will be capable of chasing 270. We often say it’s a fair cricket wicket, looks good for batting, but no one has found it easy apart from Mitchell Marsh. Over the past few years, this pitch has improved, and teams have chased well here. However, 270, with the pressure and the Ashes at stake, is the target.”
Australia captain Pat Cummins added, “It’s set up for another thrilling match. A target of 300 would be good. But if we bowl well and the pitch starts to spin, we’ll look to defend anything.”
Headingley has witnessed some memorable fourth-innings chases in recent history, including Leicestershire’s successful pursuit of 389 against Yorkshire in the County Championship in 2023, and England’s chase of 296 to defeat New Zealand in 2022, losing only three wickets.
Reflecting on his achievement of reaching 200 Test wickets, Moeen expressed satisfaction. He credited his two wickets to good fortune but acknowledged his overall well-executed bowling.
“I’m pleased to reach 200,” he said. “Those two wickets were a bit fortunate, but overall, I bowled quite well. Initially, I didn’t expect to take any wickets in the first innings because the ball wasn’t spinning much. However, today was different as I aimed to be aggressive and attack.”
Moeen’s contribution with the ball and Stokes’ remarkable innings have provided England with a fighting chance in the Test match, keeping the series alive as they look to close the gap against Australia.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ashes Test
What is the current status of the Ashes series?
The current status of the Ashes series is that Australia is leading with a 2-0 advantage.
How did Moeen Ali perform in the third Ashes Test?
Moeen Ali had an impressive performance in the third Ashes Test. He took two crucial wickets, removing Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, reaching a milestone of 200 Test wickets.
How did Ben Stokes contribute to England’s performance?
Ben Stokes played a heroic innings, scoring 80 runs, which helped rescue England from a difficult position of 142-7. His contribution was crucial in limiting the first-innings deficit and giving England a chance in the Test match.
What is England’s chance of winning the third Ashes Test?
According to Moeen Ali, England has a good chance of winning the third Ashes Test. He expressed optimism about the team’s position and their ability to chase down a target.
Can England successfully chase down a target in the fourth innings at Headingley?
Headingley has witnessed successful fourth-innings chases in the past, and Moeen Ali mentioned that England has a history of successful chases under the leadership of Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum. However, the specific target and the pressure of the Ashes being on the line will play a significant role in determining England’s chances.