had to be Moeen Ali, the man of Joe Root’s first summer as Test captain, who would pick the lock that sent England hurtling towards a 177-run win at Old Authentic Brooks Orpik Womens Jersey Trafford and what was their first series win over South Africa at home in 19 years. After his 10 wickets and 96 runs at Lord’s came his hat-trick at The Oval, before the audacious counterattack with the bat here on the third evening was followed by figures of five for 69 in England’s fourth-innings surge. The shining smile that resides above the luxuriant beard has been an enduring image throughout this 3-1 defence of the Basil D’Oliviera Trophy. Moeen Ali sees off South Africa with five wickets as England win final Test Read more It was 22 minutes before the delayed interval on the fourth day in Manchester when the Brummie’s beam first broke out as, on the big screen, Hashim Amla was shown to be plumb lbw as he fiddled around his pads. His two hours of steadfast defiance with Faf du Plessis that had made a thinned-out crowd twitchy had been broken and from there the floodgates opened. As Moeen strode off the field with stump in hand, waving to supporters who had chanted his name throughout the five-wicket, 40-minute burst, he was blissfully unaware of the elite company he had joined after becoming only the second England cricketer after Sir Ian Botham to Authentic Chris Kaman Womens Jersey claim 25 victims with the ball and score more than 250 runs with the willow in a series. Botham’s achievements came in the 1981 and 1985 Ashes series, two six-match affairs in a stellar career that cemented his place in English folklore. Moeen, whose personal double of 25 and 252 was produced from only four, is a wildly different character, of course, but in his understated way is neatly chiselling out his spot in the wider story. His flowing bat has had crowds purring since his debut three years ago, never more so than on the third evening here when he took the attack to South Africa in a shower of boundaries that shut down their hopes of a drawn series. But the bowling that has returned 123 wickets from 41 Tests is now truly starting to blossom. Advertisement The “second-spinner” psychology employed by Trevor Bayliss this summer may appear codswallop to most (not least since he became the solitary slow bowler from the third Test onwards). But whatever the logic, by reducing the pressure the England management have somehow unlocked his best work to date. “Maybe that’s working,” joked Bayliss. “There’s no doubt he’s our No1 spinner and maybe he will become world class. He has work to do but, knowing Mo, he won’t leave anything to chance because he’s one of the hardest workers. Most people are astounded with [the Botham statistic]. He does it in a quiet manner and is a great team man.” Credit must go to the deployment of Saqlain Mushtaq as spin coach too; a rapport has been struck with the former Pakistan international. Moeen admitted after stumps on the third evening that bowling in the final innings of a Test used to induce some trepidation, that the expectation to deliver when the pitch was at its most helpful caused him to tighten up a touch. The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian's sport coverage Read more But through Saqlain’s wise counsel, he claimed, the challenge would now be approached with a clear mind and the intention to simply spin the ball hard. When Quinton de Kock and Theunis de Bruyn fenced to the slips on the stroke of tea, with Ben Stokes and Alastair Cook the men holding on, the beautiful simplicity of this plan shone through. Removing Duanne Olivier, the No11, first ball to start the champagne-spraying celebrations – Moeen, as usual, stood to one side on the podium – meant that he has winkled out 12 of the 14 South Africans deployed during the series at some stage, such that when the eye-masks are donned on their flight home a number may still see his face. As Du Plessis said in the post-match press conference: “He’s a really dangerous cricketer and any captain would love to have him in their side. He is one of a few all-rounders in that team who is so destructive with the bat, such that when you get them under pressure it only takes one to fire and take the game away from you again. And he’s an Pierre Pilote Authentic Jersey unbelievable off-spinner.” Whatever the label – be it first spinner, second spinner or batsman primarily – Moeen has just enjoyed the finest series of his career to date and earned the respect of yet another opponent