Magnificent Hales Sees England Home
England 190-4 (Hales 116no, Morgan 57) beat
Sri Lanka 189-4 (Jayawardene 89) by 6 wickets
ICC World Twenty20 2014 Group One, Chittagong
Alex Hales hit a magnificent unbeaten 116 in 64 balls as England successfully chased down 190 with four balls to spare to beat Sri Lanka and take their first win of the ICC World Twenty20 2014.
Hales hit 11 fours and five sixes and shared a third-wicket stand worth 152 with Eoin Morgan after England lost two wickets without scoring a run.
That came after a woeful fielding performance had contributed to Sri Lanka racking up 189 for four; Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan both scoring half-centuries.
However, England fought back to keep their chances of reaching the semi-finals alive.
After captain Stuart Broad won the toss and chose to bowl they got off to a great start when Kushal Perera was adjudged to have flicked Jade Dernbach to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler for three.
It might have got even better one ball later when a leading edge from Jayawardene was taken by Michael Lumb but as he dived forward to collect as it dipped, the TV replays were deemed inconclusive and the batsman was given the benefit of the doubt.
Jayawardene was subsequently dropped twice as he and Dilshan added 145 together for the second wicket, taking full advantage of England's generosity.
Dilshan hammered 55 in 47 balls with four fours and two sixes and Jayawardene hit 89 in 51 deliveries with 11 fours and three sixes before he was bowled by Chris Jordan.
Dilshan fell to Dernbach soon after and the other man to fall was Kumar Sangakkara, who was caught by Hales off Jordan for a golden duck.
Thisara Perera hit a quickfire 23 in 12 balls and Angelo Mathews 11 in five as Sri Lanka closed strongly.
They started strongly in the field as well, Kulasekara bowling Lumb and then having Moeen Ali caught by Sachithra Senanayake at the end of the first over.
From not having a run on the board, through Hales and Morgan, England were able to rebuild and keep up with the required run-rate.
Morgan showcased his range of sweeps and reverse sweeps, hitting 57 in 38 balls while Hales was given one life by the Sri Lankans in the field.
Like Jayawardene, he went on to take full advantage and played a stunning innings. After Morgan and Jos Buttler (2) became Kulasekara's third and fourth victims, he reached his century by moving from 94 to 100 with one booming six over cover.
He followed it up with another maximum over midwicket and after Ravi Bopara hit Lasith Malinga for two deftly cut fours to third man, Hales finished off the job in fine style, blasting the fifth of his sixes high over midwicket to seal the win with four balls to spare.
Kulasekara ended with figures of four for 32.
© Cricket World 2014