RSS feeds from ecb.co.uk

Blogs RSS

I proved a point with my Twenty20 hundred

Posted in Domestic Cricket

I'm still shocked that I scored a hundred in the Friends Life t20 against the Welsh Dragons last week. I still don't know what happened.

It was always an ambition to score a Twenty20 hundred but to do it I thought I'd have to hit lots of sixes - something which isn't my strength. I was wrong, though, and got there by sticking to the things I do well and I was really chuffed that my gameplan came off. I don't know if I'll ever get another one.

We were chasing 179, which is quite a big total but achievable at Taunton providing a couple of batsmen get in. Unfortunately, we lost a few early wickets and were 24 for three, but, in many ways, that meant we could be fearless and play some shots. It was almost a nothing-to-lose situation.

I was batting with Jos [Buttler] and as long as he is around you have a chance of chasing any total.

I managed to get off to a good start and hit a few boundaries early on - that really helped. It gave me the confidence to know I could hit boundaries throughout my innings. As the game went on, their field placings seemed to suit my game which meant I could keep hitting fours. I hit 15 in total and a six.

I've never been a big six hitter. I'm not strong hitting straight down the ground. I'm better square of the wicket, so cut shots and pulls or giving myself some room to flick it off my legs. Against the slower bowling, I look to sweep and reverse sweep to make the most of the square boundaries.

James Hildreth

My strengths are hitting square of the wicket so against slower bowlers I will look to use the sweep and reverse sweep when I can

I finished unbeaten on 107 from 60 balls and we won with a ball to spare. It was the best I've played in limited-overs cricket, partly because it was a hundred in T20 cricket but also because it helped us win. The innings which win games always mean more, so sometimes a 30 not out to win a game can be just as valuable.

Hitting a hundred without being a big hitter proved to me that you can score quickly without hitting the ball in the air.

You look at other players around the world who do well in all formats, such as AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis, they play proper cricket shots rather than smacking sixes. There are ways of scoring runs in T20 rather than just clearing the ropes.

Scoring that hundred also helped me feel I am part of the Somerset Twenty20 squad again. I was dropped for the first game, which was hard to take, so this makes me feel like a valuable member as we push for a place in the quarter-finals.

I feel I have a role to play. Playing around the likes of Buttler and (Craig) Kieswetter, there is an expectation on them to hit the big shots, so I have a different role and I think that works well. I'll target different parts of the field to them which might disrupt the opposition bowlers.

We are top of the Midlands/Wales/West group and are pretty confident going into our next two games against Northants and Gloucestershire. Those are two games we are looking to win.

On Tuesday night we play Northants, who have been struggling in this format - they have lost four out of five - while we are at full strength with Kieswetter, Buttler, (Richard) Levi, (Kevin) O'Brien and (Albie) Morkel, providing he passes a fitness test, all back. Hopefully we'll have a good win and be top by two points with a game in hand by the time we travel back to Taunton later that evening.

Get our free apps

Apps Promo

Download the ECB Cricket app for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Nokia phones and get live scores, news, video and other services on the move