WORCESTERSHIRE batsman Moeen Ali fell two runs short of a half-century on his England Test debut against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.

The New Road all-rounder edged Rangana Herath to Mahela Jayawardene at second slip having put on 89 runs for the fifth wicket with Joe Root.

It helped England build up a solid lead on the opening day of the first Test after they lost the toss and were inserted by the tourists.

Moeen faced 98 balls in 124 minutes in his 48, hitting six fours and one six under the watchful eye of County director of cricket Steve Rhodes in the stands.

He has now been awarded an England increment contract for 2013-14 after reaching the 20-point mark for playing enough internationals.