Record-breaker Moeen Ali praises Jonny Bairstow and Chris Jordan as England beat South Africa

Moeen Ali scored England’s fastest fifty in Twenty20 cricket history as the hosts claimed the T20 series opener against South Africa.

The 35-year-old needed just 16 deliveries to bag his half-century as England stormed to a 41-run victory in Bristol. 

Moeen took the record away from teammate Liam Livingstone, who scored his half-century in 17 balls.

The all-rounder produced six sixes and two fours during a devastating stand of 106 with Jonny Bairstow, who enjoyed a career-best 90.

Moeen was delighted with his achievement, though he did acknowledge the modest dimensions at Bristol's Seat Unique Stadium which witnessed 29 sixes in 40 overs.

"It means a lot, there are guys in our changing room who score quickly and now I can brag about the fastest 50 in T20 cricket for England. I'll go in the dressing room and give it big ones," he said with tongue in cheek.

"It's something great to be proud of, but I'm sure it will be broken soon. This was a nice-sized ground for someone like myself, who isn't the most massive hitter of a ball like some of the boys.

"You can hit sixes here, you pick the bowlers you fancy and go after them. I just had a look at a couple of balls then played my shots."

Moeen also praised Bairstow after the Yorkshireman produced his latest match-winning effort in what is becoming one of the best years of his career.

"Jonny is someone I've always enjoyed batting with," said the all-rounder. "He's quite busy, strong, powerful and the way he batted tonight was very entertaining. It was great to be at the other end."

Moeen also had words of praise for bowler Chris Jordan, who conceded a mere eight runs in two of the final three overs.

"CJ closed the game out for us," said Moeen.

"He's a very, very important player and has experience all around the world. He's had a couple of difficult years in the role he's been given but this summer he has been fantastic. We know how good he is, his pace is up and he's a fantastic death bowler."

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