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Leie, Phangiso spin South Africa home - Cricket News
Match Reports,07 July 2015

Leie, Phangiso spin South Africa home

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My best innings, without doubt: Hales

Opener says hitting first T20I century by an England batsman still hasn’t sunk in

My best innings, without doubt: Hales - Cricket News
Alex Hales rated his knock on Thursday as the best of his career and said that he was pleased to have contributed to his team's win.
Alex Hales is only 25, and after his whirlwind century against Sri Lanka in the ICC World Twenty20 2014, he seems destined for a long and fruitful career - in the shortest version of the game at least - in the years to come. Hales, who threatened to become the first England player to score a century in T20Is on two previous occasions, only be dismissed for 94 and 99, got across the line on Thursday (March 27), and in doing so, kept England’s hopes alive.
“Without a shadow of a doubt that’s my best innings,” said Hales. “It's a win we needed as a side and I'm pleased I managed to contribute to a winning team. It's an amazing feeling. It still hasn't sunk in, what's happened. I've come close a couple of times before and haven't managed to get over the line.”
Hales watched in dismay as England lost both Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali before any runs were on the board, but he did not let this affect him. “It wasn't an ideal start, but we saw by the way they batted that it was an excellent wicket. And the way Eoin Morgan came in straight away and took the game back to them made my job a lot easier. We had plans to stay in the game as long as we could, get a partnership and reassess at the halfway stage. It paid off.”
Hales, who took 25 off one Ajantha Mendis over, tried to be modest, but it was apparent he had anticipated what the mystery spinner, who ended up conceding 52 from his four overs, might try to do. “I had a plan to take it down the leg side and he bowled three balls exactly where I wanted him to. It was nice to be able to put them over the rope,” said Hales, who ended the chase with a towering six. “It was a great feeling, especially in a game like that. He bowled the ball exactly where I wanted him to and I managed to get it over the ropes. A great feeling, hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Even with a 150-run third wicket partnership on the board, the job was not quite done, and it was only at the home stretch did Hales contemplate taking England home. “Probably with six or seven overs left (we thought we might win this). We needed about 12 an over so we always knew it would be a tough ask,” said Hales. “But Morgy (Morgan) played brilliantly and then Ravi (Bopara) came in against the dangerman (Malinga) and hit the first two balls for four. It was brilliant to see.”
Hales believed that the win would do wonders for the morale in the England camp. “I think it’s massive for us. We are underdogs in this tournament, playing in the subcontinent historically we haven’t gone too well,” said Hales. “This win will help us build momentum for the next two games. We’ve still got to play The Netherlands and South Africa. I think if we perform to the best of our ability we’ll get two wins.”

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