x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

All Hales and hearty as England share cricket honours with Australia

The opener combined in a record 111-run stand with Michael Lumb to ensure a 27-run victory in the second T20 international.

Alex Hales missed out on a maiden hundred for the second time in his career but helped England set up a daunting total. Stu Forster / Getty Images
Alex Hales missed out on a maiden hundred for the second time in his career but helped England set up a daunting total. Stu Forster / Getty Images

CHESTER-LE-STREET, England // Stuart Broad, the England captain, was full of praise for his team after they squared their Twenty20 series against Australia with a 27-run win in the second and final game at Chester-le-Street.

Alex Hales hit 94 from 61 balls as he combined in a 111-run stand with Michael Lumb (43) – a record opening partnership for England against Australia - as the hosts reached 195 for five.

Jade Dernbach then took three for 23 as Australia fell short, despite 53 from David Warner.

Broad pointed to the all-round nature of the performance and told Sky Sports: "After losing the toss the guys adapted to the conditions really well.

"To get 60 off the first six without losing a wicket was fantastic...and it was great to keep wickets in hand."

That opening partnership equalled England's best for any wicket against Australia in a T20 international, with Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen having put on 111 for the second wicket in England's 2010 World Twenty20 final win over their arch-rivals in Barbados.

Broad also hailed Dernbach, saying: "You can't ask for much more than the last two games, he's been fantastic."

Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, wicketless on debut at Southampton, took his first international wickets to finish with three for 25.

Of the series, Broad added: "Both batting performances have been exceptional. We have had two fantastic wickets to play on, there's not much margin for error.

"It shows in international cricket you need to have your skills perfect.

"It's been a long summer, it's been very special and will always hold some good memories."

His counterpart George Bailey said: "I thought we had some good patches with the ball. It was really tough with the wind."

"There are some really good things going on.

"Finchy's innings [Aaron Finch scored 156 in first match] was fantastic and I like the balance with the batting order."

For Hales, his 94 was bitter-sweet given he fell just six short of his century, the second time in his short career he has just failed to become the first England batsman to score an international Twenty20 ton.

The opener, 24, was also agonisingly a single run short of a century against the West Indies at Trent Bridge last year, and was denied his moment on Saturday when he holed out in the deep in the penultimate over from James Faulkner.

Hales told Sky Sports: "I'm disappointed not to get there having got to 94.

"It was a fantastic team effort and set the tone early with the bat on what was a fantastic wicket.

"Lumby helped me out, he was brilliant at the start. We formed a good partnership."

It was the Hales's sixth fifty in 21 innings at this level. His knock inluded two sixes.

Of his international ambitions, Hales added: "I've got a lot of hard work to do and a lot of runs to score for Notts."

England, who won the preceding Ashes Test campaign 3-0, and Australia meet in their third format of the season when a five-match one-day international series starts in Leeds on Friday.

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