Moeen Ali was delighted to return to form with the bat and register his first Test half century for six months against South Africa in Centurion.

The Worcestershire all-rounder scored a crucial 61 batting at number eight in the fourth Test to help England avoid the possibility of being asked to follow on.

He struck 11 fours in his 101 ball knock on a wicket that is already showing inconsistent bounce.

The last time he had topped the 50 mark was when scoring 59 in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston last summer.

Moeen said: "It is about time. I've struggled a little bit with the bat lately so it was nice to contribute some sort of score and I felt quite good towards the end.

"There was a time when I tried to play properly and I found that quite tough and when Broady (Stuart Broad) came in, I thought a little bit like the Ashes, to be really positive and try and latch onto anything loose and play my shots.

"It is my natural game, just watch the ball and hit it. It was nice to get some fluency into my batting.

"On this sort of wicket, maybe it is the right way to go. You try and play each ball on merit as much as you can.

"It's one of those wickets where you are going to ride your luck a bit and get away with it."

Moeen helped the last four wickets to add 131 and he has reverted back to number eight in this series after opening for three Tests against Pakistan in the UAE.

He said: "Batting with the lower order, it is quite tough. I like doing it but it is quite tough to bat with the tail."

South Africa will resume on 42-1 in their second innings – an overall lead of 175 with two days remaining.