Hales frustrated to fall short of ton again


England opener Alex Hales has not recorded a century in the Test series against Sri Lanka, and is frustrated with getting out very close to triple figures more than once, but is happy to contribute to wins.

Hales scored 94 in the second innings of the third Test at Lord's, adding to two scores in the 80s earlier in the series, and finds it frustrating that he's not bagged his maiden ton yet, seven games into his career.

But with England leading the series two nil, and on track for a whitewash, he feels he can't be too upset about it, though he hopes he can find the magical final runs later in the season.

Hales said: "It is frustrating. But if someone had offered me nearly 300 runs at an average of 60 at the start of the series [he has scored 292 at 58.40], I'd probably have taken it.

"To have gone into the final Test 2-0 up and helped get the team off to some good starts, it could hardly have been a better. Well, it could if I had converted some starts, but so far so good.

"I'd had my fair share of luck. I was bowled off that close no-ball and there were umpire's calls and edges, so I guess my luck ran out. It's disappointing to come so close and miss out again.

"When you get so close you have to be converting. But it was pretty decent delivery."

This is Hales' second Test series, having made his debut against South Africa at the start of the year. That series was fairly average from the Nottinghamshire man, with one half ton in eight innings, and not much else.

He added: "I had a lot of questions to answer after South Africa. The biggest thing I've improved is my decision-making outside off stump. Whether it is leaving the ball or attacking the ball.

"In South Africa, a few times, I was tentatively hanging my bat in the channel. So I've tried to be more positive. Positive in my leaving and positive when I'm looking to attack.

"It's still something I'm improving on each game and there are other areas to work on as well, but I feel I'm heading in the right direction.

"Maybe in the first couple games this summer, I have tried to go after the spinners more than should have. But this game I have played a lot better and picked my attacking options better against Rangana Herath.

"I'm learning from my mistakes and looking to build on this later in the summer. I know there are tougher challenges to come."