GERRARDS Cross batsman Alex Hales has continued his whirlwind year by blasting his way to the Man of the Match award on his Melbourne Renegades debut.

Hales, who learned his trade at Dukes Lane and went to school at Chesham High School before earning a professional contract at Leicestershire, plundered 89 runs off just 52 balls today to help his side make a winning start in Australia’s Twenty20 competition.

Incredibly, Hales, who has been overlooked for England’s One Day side, only arrived in Australia hours before the match after being called up as a late replacement for Marlon Samuel.

After hearing the news he said: “The contact came out of the blue, but it's a great opportunity to join a team who are flying in the competition. “I've played a lot of cricket recently and I feel in good nick so hopefully I can make a difference.”

He certainly did that with seven sixes in another blockbuster innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Hales, 24, has already proved a hit for England in the shorter version of cricket.

He has played 14 T20 internationals and his 99 against the West Indies last summer is the highest score by an England batsmen in that format.