The chatter around the IPL scene over the past several weeks has been of interest from a high-profile club for Moeen Ali. The rumor had it that an offer had been made to the management of the Chennai Super Kings to swap the English player for an all-rounder who had not had a particularly good season. CSK officials denied having such an offer on the table when approached, claiming that captain MS Dhoni would never agree to a Moeen swap. In the franchise group, the chatter hasn’t exactly died down.

Dhoni is unlikely to accept such proposals, much alone discuss them, after demonstrating why he is in such high demand on Friday night. He was the best batsman and bowler on the night, and it was a separate thing that his all-round performance at the Brabourne received no poetic justice in the end. Chennai Super Kings were defeated by Rajasthan Royals by five wickets, denying them a top-two finish.

Moeen Ali tore into Trent Boult, probably the league’s best pacer, for a series of boundaries that read: 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4. Few batters have shown such contempt for the New Zealand bowler. Moeen made the Brabourne surface appear like a 250 wicket, according to Stephen Fleming.

After some caution, the left-hander unleashed an attack on the bowlers, and the ball continued to move, rolling to the boundary with remarkable consistency. With the ball raised over backward square leg, lifted over midwicket, and then flipped in the same zone, Boult’s third and Royals’ sixth over cost 26 runs. After a cut, slice, and drive – all boundaries – Moeen was suddenly in his 50s, having achieved the milestone in only 19 balls.