Hales happy to take his chance
Alex Hales was delighted to make the most of his recall to England’s Twenty20 side with a match-winning knock of 99 against West Indies at Trent Bridge.
The powerful Nottinghamshire opener broke into England’s T20 team last summer and went on to make four appearances in all before losing his place for the three-match series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from limited-overs cricket provided Hales with another opportunity to impress in yesterday’s NatWest International T20.
He duly prospered on his home ground, registering the highest score by an England batsman in the shortest form of the game as Stuart Broad’s side chased down 173 to secure an impressive seven-wicket win.
Although Hales fell agonisingly short of completing the seventh century in Twenty20 internationals, the 23-year-old was understandably satisfied with his day’s work.
“I was hugely determined. It was a great opportunity that was presented to me, with KP retiring, and I am pleased I managed to take it,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“I tried to just do what I have done for Notts and fortunately it paid off.
“I know this ground very well; it’s usually a fantastic deck. We always felt in the game with 170.”
England’s next T20 action arrives in September, when they take on South Africa in a three-match series that precedes the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Looking ahead to the visit of the Proteas, Hales said: “South Africa are a fantastic team in all forms of cricket. We are going to have to be on top of our game if we are going to turn them over.”
Such views were echoed by England skipper Broad, who added: “It’s going to be a fantastic series.
“Being a cricket fan it’s exciting to see some of the best players in the world come over and challenge our players. I see it being a really good battle and we’ll have to play fantastic cricket to win; that’s what we’re aiming to do.”
While Broad will now return to 50-over action in the NatWest Series against Australia, Hales is focused on helping Notts qualify for Friends Life t20 finals day.
The Outlaws are joint-top of the North Group after five games, having avoided defeat thus far.
“We’ve got a very strong side,” said Hales. “We’re unbeaten so far and we’re really backing ourselves this year to make an impression in this form.”