Hales leads England to beat cricket's best
By Shahid Hashmi ,AFP
March 29, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh -- Opener Alex Hales smashed a maiden hundred to help England upset world number one Sri Lanka in a thrilling World Twenty20 Super-10 stage match in Chittagong on Thursday.
The 24-year-old smashed a 64-ball 116 not out as England chased down a challenging 190-run target in 19.2 overs.
With England needing 23 off the last two overs Hales smashed Nuwan Kulasekara for a six to reach his hundred off 60 balls and then hit Angelo Mathews for the winning six, to anchor England's best chase in all T20 cricket.
Hales hit six sixes and 11 boundaries in a breathtaking display of batting.
The victory gives England their first win in two games while Sri Lanka lost their first in three to leave Group One wide open with South Africa beating the Netherlands by six runs earlier in the day for their second win in three matches.
New Zealand have one win in two matches.
“That was a very special knock and one of the best I've seen in an England shirt,” said England skipper Stuart Broad.
“World events are big and that kind of win will give our dressing room a lot of belief.”
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal blamed the excessive dew for his spinners' failure to put the brakes on England.
“It was a good total, but it was difficult with the dew for our bowlers. We had two spinners, but they couldn't grip the ball — especially Ajantha Mendis,” said Chandimal.
England were rocked by Kulasekara (4-32) in the first over when he bowled Michael Lumb off the fifth ball and had Moeen Ali caught in the slips off the last to leave England reeling at 0-2.