The 32-year-old appeared poised for a brilliant campaign after taking five wickets and scores of 54 and 42 in a man-of-the-match display during South Africa's 340-run series-levelling win in the second Test at Trent Bridge.
He joined the England squad as a spin bowling consultant for the first three Tests in India over the winter and although he is not yet on a full-time deal, the European Central Bank have secured his services for the remainder of this summer.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis highlighted the value of England's all-rounders in the post-match presentation at Old Trafford, with Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow having also shone in two disciplines. But I think the team needed that in this series. Before returning to the field, he spoke to Saqlain who suggested putting in a silly-point. "He batted on some very tough wickets for an opening batter and against a top-quality bowling attack".
"There is always something new with Saqi". I learnt a lot throughout. "He has been fantastic, it is more of a mental thing".
South Africa must win the test to draw the series.
He still only works with England on a part-time basis.
However, Bayliss said that the Durham left-hander could still be part of the squad that tour Australia in defence of the Ashes this winter.
England held a lead of over 100 going into day three but the top order failed once again as the hosts' were reduced to 153-7.
"Cooky said "make sure we take the picture first", and then I move out the way and they can do what they do".
Hashim Amla lacks the consistency of years past, flickering only briefly in this series, and while it's important he remains while this side is still in transition, he needs to find the kind of form that made him the world's best players in 2012. "He can help me out". "I'd like him to be there".
From there it all unravelled for Du Plessis' side, the captain went for a stubborn 61 before Ali finished the job for England with two wickets in two balls after Anderson removed Kagiso Rabada, meaning South Africa's last seven wickets had gone in just 12.3 overs for 39 runs.
"We know there are some spots which haven't been cemented down and we're still looking for those guys to prove their worth at this level", says England's Australian coach Trevor Bayliss.
'I feel like it was building ...
"I'm at a loss at the moment whether it's a go-ahead - we haven't heard for sure. I contributed with the bat a couple of times", Moeen told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.
Moeen captured his second five-wicket haul of the series to finish the leading wicket-taker with 25 dismissals - five better than Jimmy Anderson - at an average of 25.64 to go with the 252 runs he scored at an average of 36. I felt good rhythm after the first game.
It's something he has done spectacularly over the past few weeks.
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