CRICKET: Moeen Ali could earn a stay of execution ahead for the fifth and final Ashes Test of the summer, with fellow all-rounder Chris Woakes suffering an injury blow on the eve of the Sydney Test.
England on Wednesday confirmed Woakes is in severe doubt for the dead rubber Test, starting at the SCG on Thursday, as he battles a side strain.
Woakes will have scans on his injured left side on Wednesday but appears long-odds to take part as England seek to secure their first Test win of the summer.
That would almost give Moeen another chance after he'd been the popular pick to make way for rising legspinner Mason Crane following a horrid Ashes series for the spinning all-rounder.
It is a cruel blow for Woakes, who has previously had side strain setbacks that have kept him sidelined for two months.
Woakes has had a mediocre Ashes series, taking 10 wickets at 49.5 and scoring just 114 runs through seven innings at the miserable average of 16.28 - less than two points higher than England's No. 10 Stuart Broad.
But he is a key member of England's one-day team - and with both an ODI series and Twenty20 tri-series to follow in the next month, it seems unlikely England would risk their white-ball star.