Moeen Ali has climbed into joint third spot in the list of wicket-taking off-spinners in Test cricket for England.

The Worcestershire all-rounder lifted his wicket tally for his country to 153 with his superb performance in the opening Test win over Sri Lanka in Galle.

Moeen overtook former Middlesex player John Emburey who picked up 147 wickets in 64 Tests.

He also moved level with another ex Middlesex player in Fred Titmus and the pair of them have both played 53 Tests – although the former has power to add to that tally.

Only Graeme Swann – 255 wickets in 60 Tests – and Jim Laker – 193 in 46 – are ahead of Moeen.

Moeen has a strike rate of a wicket every 63.8 deliveries – only slightly below those of Swann (60.1) and Laker (62.3).

His match figures of 8-137 against Sri Lanka were his best in an overseas Test.

ENGLAND’S LEADING OFF SPINNERS

Graeme Swann – 255 wickets in 60 Tests

Jim Laker 193 wickets in 46 Tests

MOEEN ALI 153 wickets in 53 Tests

Fred Titmus – 153 wickets in 53 Tests

John Emburey – 147 wickets in 64 Tests

David Allen – 122 wickets in 39 Tests

Ray Illingworth – 122 wickets in 61 Tests