Hales provides England's only World T20 highlight

Alex Hales, top row fifth from left, played for Gerrards Cross for five seasons.

Alex Hales, top row fifth from left, played for Gerrards Cross for five seasons.

First published in Sport by

THERE were very few highlights from England’s dismal World Twenty20 campaign in Bangladesh, but Bucks batsman Alex Hales provided one of the tournament’s defining moments with an innings of utter destruction.

The 25-year-old, who played for Amersham CC and Gerrards Cross CC growing up, lived up to his billing as one of the games most electric players with an unbeaten and match-winning 116 from just 64 balls to turn the game against Sri Lanka last Thursday.

England had lost their opening match to New Zealand and needed a win to remain in the competition.

However, chasing 189-4, they had been reduced to 0-2 and looked headed for certain defeat.

But Morgan had other ideas and in a game-breaking stand of 152 with Eoin Morgan the former Amersham and Gerrards Cross batter hauled his team out of the fire.

He passed his ton with a six, breaking his own T20 England record of 99 that he shared with Luke Wright, and then won the game with another huge maximum to end the day with 11 fours and six sixes.

Having twice been out in the 90s playing for England, reaching three figures with such a disdainful shot was something special.

He said: “It’s an amazing feeling. It still hasn’t sunk in what’s happened.”

“I always had the confidence I would get the chance again. Hundreds don’t come around very often in the short format so I’m buzzing I got it and in a huge fixture for our country.”

Chairman at Gerrards Cross Cricket Club Charles Hunt said: “I’ve known him for a long time and he was always looking to progress so we’re delighted to see him do so well, especially as he hadn’t been getting as many runs as he’d have liked recently.

“It was one of those innings where he was in the zone.

“He didn’t look in trouble or nervous at any stage.

“But he’s definitely a man for the big occasion. He hasn’t got any fear. You saw that when he got that big score [218] in his second innings with Notts and that got him his professional contract.”

Hales’ heroics didn’t come completely out of the blue though.

He scored 55 off a single over at Lord’s when just 16 and now holds three of the top four England scores in the shorter version of the game, with a 94, 99 and 116 not out.

Last year he rose to number one in the T20 batting rankings and is now second behind Australian Aaron Finch.

Hunt said: “He started off as an aggressive bowler before becoming an aggressive batsman.

“I don’t remember him having an innings like that for us but he’s always been good and he certainly stood out as someone to watch.”

The challenge now for Hales is to transfer his T20 form to the longer versions of the game.

Hunt said: “If you can hit the ball, you can hit it. I think there is definitely room for him in the 50-overs side.

“Whether he’ll get to the Test team I don’t know. He’s absolutely got the talent, but whether he can harness it to play longer innings I don’t know.”

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