England batsman Alex Hales says that scoring a century against Sri Lanka to set up a six-wicket win that kept his side's ICC World Twenty20 hopes alive was 'an amazing feeling'.
Hales became the first English player to reach three figures in a Twenty20 International, going on to score 116 in just 64 balls to guide England to their first win of the tournament.
They defeated previously undefeated Sri Lanka by six wickets, chasing down 190 runs, to throw Group One of the competition wide open.
And Hales, who was dismissed for 99 in a Twenty20 game against the West Indies in 2012, says it was great to reach three figures.
"It is an amazing feeling, it still sort of hasn't sunk in what has happened," Hales said, speaking soon after the game had finished.
"I have come close (to scoring a century) a couple of times before and I am pleased I managed to get over the line today. It was a very good wicket and happy I cashed in.
"It was a great feeling hitting the winning runs, especially in a game like that. He (Angelo Mathews) bowled the ball exactly where I wanted him to and I managed to get it over the ropes and it was a great feeling. Still has not really sunk in yet. But yeah, it was brilliant."
Although Hales was up until very recently ranked by the ICC as the leading Twenty20 International batsman in the world, his form going into the tournament has not been good, but he says he was always confident that a big score was not far away.
"It hasn't been a great winter personally. I probably did not do as well in the Big Bash (in Australia) as I would have liked.
"But you know, I have still been confident. I have been hitting the ball well in the nets and I always had a feeling that a big score was close. And pleased that it was today for a winning side."
In this game, he was put under extra pressure when England lost two wickets before a run had been scored. He responded by putting on 152 with Eoin Morgan for the third wicket, and then seeing England home.
"It was not an ideal start, but we saw by the way that they batted that it was an excellent wicket and the way that Morgy (Eoin Morgan) came in straight away and, you know, took the game back to them, it made my job a lot easier.
"And you know, we had just to stay in the game as long as we could, build a partnership and reassess it at the halfway stage.
"And we stuck to our plans and it paid off."
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