Hales storms to century and saves England

England

England pulled off a brilliant win in Chittagong on Thursday, though needed a top-notch and record-breaking innings from opening batsman Alex Hales to do so, beating Sri Lanka by six wickets in their group encounter.

England pulled off a brilliant win in Chittagong on Thursday, though needed a top-notch and record-breaking innings from opening batsman Alex Hales to do so, beating Sri Lanka by six wickets in their group encounter.

Sri Lanka recorded a challenging 189 for four thanks to some horrific fielding from England, who dropped more than a handful of catches and bowled poorly for the most part. But Hales and Eoin Morgan put on a century stand to save the day.

England won the toss and chose to bowl, having watched South Africa narrowly beat Holland in the game before at the same ground. Jade Dernbach got a wicket in the second over, and should have had another.

Mahela Jayawardene was brilliantly caught by Michael Lumb while still on nought, but the third umpire (mistakenly) deemed that the ball had touched the ground. As such, Mahela took full advantage, and of being dropped later on, to make 89.

he and Tillakaratne Dilshan smacked the England bowlers around, and watched as Tim Bresnan dropped two sitters on the ropes, and Ravi Bopara too later on, as England let themselves down badly. Dilshan was eventually out for 55.

Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews added 23 and 11 respectively at the death, as Sri Lanka posted what looked to be an impossible score, given England's recent failures in the top order.

And the chase began poorly, with Lumb and Moeen Ali out to Nuwan Kulasekara before a run was on the board. Lumb was bowled, while Ali found himself caught in the slips for a golden duck. England fans despaired.

Then Hales and Morgan joined forces for the next 16 overs and put on 152 runs together. Hales demonstrated why he is so highly ranked by the ICC in the format, bringing up his seventh T20 fifty, while Morgan racked up his 1000th run in the format.

Morgan was only the second man to do so, behind Kevin Pietersen, and he went on to make 57 off 38 balls. He was out in the 17th over to Kulasekara, who ended up taking all four wickets by bagging Jos Buttler for two in the same over.

It looked a bit tight then, but Hales kept going as he beat his previous best of 99. He became the first England player to score a ton in the format, and also recorded the first ton of this edition of the WT20.

As it was, England needed just seven runs off the final over, thanks to Hales's sixes in the 19th, and he did the same again after a Ravi Bopara single. He smashed the last six runs off one delivery, ending the game four balls early.

England: Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Tredwell, Jade Dernbach

Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga

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