Hales happy with England display
England will continue preparations for their World Twenty20 defence with confidence intact after showing great nerve to claim a nine-run warm-up win over Australia.
Stuart Broad’s team left Nondescripts CC with the morale boost of a fifth successive win this year over their oldest enemies, and the team they also beat to clinch a first International Cricket Council world title in Barbados two years ago.
It was Broad himself who made perhaps the most critical contribution, his only wicket accounting for Mike Hussey - who had made an Australia victory likely with a barrage of big-hitting off England’s young spinner Danny Briggs en route to 71.
The left-hander went lbw to the England captain, and Australia fell short of 172 for six - a total underpinned by Alex Hales’ half-century at the top of the order.
Hales reflected with some satisfaction on his and England’s performance, and the victory which was their reward.
“It’s a great way to start the warm-up to this tournament, and we also had that good win against South Africa too [in Birmingham last week],” said the tall opener.
“So we’re feeling pretty confident heading into this tournament. It adds to the confidence in the changing room, which is already pretty good.”
Hales’ own 36-ball 50 was one of a clutch of useful performances, the others from Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright with the bat and Steven Finn and Graeme Swann with the ball.
“It’s nice to get some runs under your belt in the first warm-up game,” he said. “It was a good team performance, and Wrighty and Morgs also played their part.
“It is a very different challenge to what we’re used to in England. But I think the deck was a lot better than everyone expected.
“It came on to the bat nicely, but I think 170 was a pretty good score out there.”