Zee Media Bureau/ Suyash Srivastava
Chittagong: He had played some fantasctic knocks for England in the shortest format of the game over the years, but Alex Hales entered history books on Thursday, when he became the first English cricketer to score a century in T20 internationals.
Hales achived the feat against Sri Lanka in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20, in a must-win game, where he remained unbeaten on 116, as England successfully chased down 189 in 19.2 overs.
Hales opened the innings with Michael Lumb, and was at the non-striker's end when Nuwan Kulasekara dismissed two batsmen – Lumb and Moeen Ali – off consecutive balls. But those wickets didn't put Hales under pressure, as he got off the mark with a boundary first ball, and followed it with another boundary off Angelo Mathews' first over.
Hales got a good company in Eoin Morgan, who played some fantastic shots, while Hales let him do most of the scoring. But as the run-rare kept soaring, Hales changed gears and Sri Lanka had no answer to his breathtaking shots.
The 15th over of the innings was probably the turning point of the match. Prior to that over, England needed 73 runs to win from six overs, which was tough ask. But Hales – who had done most of his scoring against the pacers, decided to target Mendis' last over, in which he smashed three sixes and a boundary, collecting 25 runs.
There was no looking back for Hales from there onwards, and even after England lost two wickets of Morgan and Jos Buttler in the 16th over, Hales continued his carnage and kept his side alive in the competition.
With this record knock, Hales also surpassed his previous best score of 99, which he scored against West Indies in 2012. Hales' 116-run knock was studded with 11 boundaries and six sixes.