Alex Hales gets England’s first T20 hundred – and a surprise win

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“It’s all over baby, because this one’s headed to the moon!”

You can always rely on Danny Morrison to deliver fitting commentary on the denouement of a compelling match. A few minutes earlier, he’d used the word ‘whippage’. He was on form.

So was Alex Hales, who hit the first Twenty20 international hundred for England – partially making up for the disappointment of being dismissed for 99 against the West Indies in 2012. Eoin Morgan hit the middle overs sixes and then Ravi Bopara somehow hit boundaries off Lasith Malinga at the death to keep things manageable. Hales did the rest.

A large proportion of ‘the rest’ came in one Ajantha Mendis over, which went for 25, but there was more to the innings than that. Chasing down 190 is no mean feat.

Other than that, England were dreadful, dropping as many catches as they took and one more than the umpires thought they took – third umpire, Steve Davis, brushing the vodka bottles asides to mash the ‘not out’ button with his face in response to a Mahela Jayawardene golden duck.

England probably have to beat South Africa to qualify for the semi-finals. And the Netherlands.


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  1. Nasser Hussain once developed an annoying habit of saying the word “clippage”. With the second syllable rhyming with “large”.

  2. So it looks like Stuart Broad was right when he said “in T20 you need two or three max” to have a really good game.

    1. Hales, Morgan and arguably Bopara to some extent. Anything less than that and they’d have comfortably lost.

      That ‘max’ should be a ‘min’.

    2. Do we know for certain he wasn’t talking to someone called Max?

      “In T20 you need two or three, Max.”

      Shirley – you can’t be serious…

    3. Come on, Max isn’t a cricket name. Cricketers are called Graham, Graeme, Michael or Tillakaratne.

    4. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka had Dilshan, Jayawardene, Perera, and Kulasekara. So it’s clear why they lost. Too many players having good games.

      Also, I once mentioned my habit of replacing cricketers’ actual first names with strange wordified versions of their initials, but somehow neglected to mention the most common one: Tim Dilshan. It’s to the point where I genuinely think this “Tillakaratne” is a different person entirely. Maybe a less-notable relative of Tim.

      Coincidentally, Dilshan is one of my favorite players.

  3. Was Hales the “spark” Bresnan was reffering to? Can we now make Hales and Hearty jokes? So many questions.

    1. ‘Hales-Storm’ is surely nailed on for the back pages, isn’t it?! Unless the papers lead with some football non-story, like ‘Robin van Persie sort of says something’

      I watched Hales a few times for Notts last year, and he was shite. I didn’t watch today though, so clearly I’m the problem.

    2. My “favourite” back page headline was “Wenger thinks Ferguson is wrong about Shearer”, telling us all the important news that someone’s irrelevant opinion of someone he had nothing to do with was wrong in someone else who had nothing to do with either of them’s irrelevant opinion.

      Meanwhile, the test match report of actual sport was 13 pages in.

  4. “Slightly unfair to pick on Moeen. There are others in this team who are not contributing. Alex Hales has got no business opening the batting in Bangladesh, in my opinion.”

    Sam // March 27th, 2014 at 10:35

    Sam, could you please start predicting doom for the whole team. Your half arsed efforts earlier had disastrous consequences for Moeen.

    1. I whole-heartedly apologise and henceforth forthwith offer my unreserved resignation from King Cricket and all his associate member partners.


  5. I am waiting for Bert’s reputation to be hand-delivered to me. I expect a sumptuous package.

  6. Wow. I saw the last 12 overs of England’s innings. Just wow. Well played, Hales, EJG. SL are still favorites to go through, and I think if this lot bowls and fields a hell of a lot better and keeps their heads against Steyn and Tahir, they will be through as well.

  7. Now I have that misplaced hope again.

    Up until now I had manage to suppress those ridiculous thoughts of hope completely for this tournament – indeed for most of this winter.

    I can take the despair – it’s the hope I can’t stand.

    1. We’d say that super slow mo and zooming in actually makes that look far less clear cut. We retract the vodka bottle dig.

      But TV coverage is useless for deciding whether these sorts of catches are taken. Wish we could find that Tony Greig bit where he showed how misleading the images can be.

    2. Dead right. In that Tony Greig clip he puts his fingers right under the ball then pushes his hands into the grass, with the result that his fingers can’t be seen. With a demonstrably fair catch it looks like the ball is touching the ground.

      What this proves is that the third umpire in the Lumb case was reviewing THE WRONG BIT. Once the fingers are obscured by the grass, there is nothing a third umpire can add. His only job ought to be to determine whether the fingers are under the ball BEFORE they touch the grass. In the video, the section clocked at 19:51:26 shows very clearly that they are. Fair catch, job done.

      Please reinstate your vodka bottle dig.

    3. It’s not the third umpire’s fault. He can’t give it if there’s doubt. If the doubt is an illusion caused by the technology, it’s the technology’s fault.

    4. What if on his only view of the catch another player walked in front of it so he could see absolutely nothing? Clearly in this circumstance he would have doubt, based on him not having any evidence at all. So should he immediately give Not Out because he can’t see it, or should he just say to the on-field umpire that he can’t add anything to the debate?

      This is exactly the situation for all decisions like this, except that the obscuring thing is the grass and not a player’s legs.

      In truth, I don’t know what they are told to do. But it is clear that Lumb’s fingers are underneath the ball when he can see them, and he has absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this changes when he can’t. It seems a strange application of doubt to use it to actively change the conclusion.

    5. Clearly the ICC only put that angle online because that’s the one which supports the umpire’s decision. But I think the ball goes into his hands and then touches the ground.

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