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Upbeat Moeen relishes promotion

England's form going into their World Twenty20 opener against New Zealand may leave plenty to be desired, but newcomer Moeen Ali is relishing his first taste of international cricket.

The Worcestershire batsman, who prefers to be known as an all-rounder due to his tidy off-spinners, has been one of county cricket's most prolific scorers in the last couple of seasons.

He was a beneficiary of England's post-Ashes review, and not least Kevin Pietersen's controversial sacking, earning a call-up for this month's tournament in Bangladesh and, with it, a place on the preceding tour of West Indies.

He has tasted victory just once in his four outings to date, the five-run one-day international win in Bar­bados, and featured in both of England's Twenty20 warm-up defeats against West Indies and India.

Moeen's first three knocks for England yielded just 30 runs and even though he top-scored with 46 against the Indians on Wednesday, he struggled to keep up with the required rate in the first half of his innings. But while England may be at a low ebb heading into tomorrow's Group 1 against New Zealand, 26-year-old Moeen is in upbeat mood.

"I'm finding it really good being with England and making the most of my time with the England coaches and players," he said. "I batted all right [against India] and the team can definitely take encouragement from the last game. They are a top Twenty20 side, one of the favourites to win, so to play like we did against them was a positive."

Ireland hope to have key batsman Paul Stirling available for their decisive first-round tie against Holland. The Irish top Group B after beating Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates and would assure their place in the Super 10 by maintaining their 100% record in Sylhet today.

Bangladesh secured their place in despite suffering a shock two-wicket defeat to tournament rookies Hong Kong in Chittagong, only the fourth time a Test nation has been beaten by an associate country in the Twenty20.

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