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Hales storm blows SL away

Calcutta: Alex Hales hit a sensational unbeaten hundred as England pulled off a dramatic six-wicket win over Sri Lanka to throw open the Group I for semi-finals places in the World T20, in Chittagong, on Thursday.

Chasing a huge 190-run target, England rode Hales’ magnificent maiden T20I century to overhaul the target with four balls to spare after losing two wickets for no score in the first over. At the post-match presentation, Hales said that his unbeaten 116-run knock is the best innings of his career so far.

The following are excerpts

Stuart Broad: It was a very special knock from Alex Hales… Certainly, one of the best that I have seen in England shirt. As far as the World Cup is concerned, it is all about momentum. And it’s good for us that we are peaking at the right time.

In conditions foreign to us, Hales’ innings is the best that I have seen in an England shirt. There have been a few great knocks in Tests, but Hales knock today is certainly the best of this winter for us, and one of the best of all times.

Eoin Morgan also played a brilliant innings. Having said that, conditions under the lights were not easy by any means. It’s absolutely wet out there. I really feel sorry for the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Dinesh Chandimal: We had started the match well, thanks to Mahela Jayawardene and Tillekeratne Dilshan. We did put up a good total. But it was difficult for our bowlers to bowl to their potential because of the dew. We played two spinners, but they couldn’t grip the ball properly – especially Ajantha Mendis.

Alex Hales (MoM): Centuries in this format do not come along often. We were hard done the other night against New Zealand. It was a great win. Hopefully, there are more to come. I’ve had a couple of 90s and it’s good to get over the line. It’s great to get on the board in the tournament. Without a shadow of doubt, today’s innings was the best that I have played so far.

It was a great win for us. We were not in a good form coming into this game. We needed this win badly. The way Sri Lanka batted showed how good the wicket was. Most importantly, the way Morgan played made my job a lot easier. And we are buzzing now.