Alex Hales misses century but relishes his 20 overs of fame as England comfortably beat Australia

England comfortably square series as Twenty20 specialist hits 94 and Dernbach shines with ball

After all these years there remains something vaguely of the outsider about the Twenty20 specialist. He is like the chap who is allowed to join the club but is not really one of us, old boy. It is almost acceptable to be sniffy about them.

Alex Hales is becoming the embodiment of the short form batsman. He made his sixth international Twenty20 half-century in 21 innings yesterday. It was a bristling, fearless affair, front leg usually cleared out of the way to be followed by a biff or a bang.

The total of 195 for six which his 94 from 61 balls enabled England to reach was eventually ample for them to level the two-match Twenty20 mini-series at 1-1. There were moments when Australia threatened to up the ante in their pursuit but the loss of wickets always forced them to regroup and start again. The margin was 27 runs.

Hales was slightly disappointed not to become the first player to make a century for England in a T20 match. By now, he deserves to have his name on that particular honours board. Last year he was out for 99 against New Zealand and in the winter he had blazed an unbeaten 80 from 42 balls when the target was reached.

Yet he has made barely a first-class run this season for Nottinghamshire, where he has averaged under 15 in the Championship. Hales may wish it was otherwise but then again he is playing on the international stage when 10 years ago he almost certainly would not have been, not even in the 50-over stuff.

This winter, he will return to Melbourne Renegades for the KFC Big Bash, a line of close season employment which would also not have existed in 2003 when Twenty20 was invented.

Still only 24, there is time for him to hone his game in other forms but the likelihood is that his achievements and his fame will be solely in the shortest form.

Hales and his trusty opening partner, Michael Lumb, shared a first wicker partnership of 111 in 11.2 overs, their fourth above 50 in nine attempts. This is some going. Lumb, as ever, was quicker out of the blocks but if Hales was more measured he eventually found his range on the largest playing area in the country. He pulled, drove and slogged to cow corner, in essence all-round T20 batting.


When Lumb top-edged a pull to the wicketkeeper, Matthew Wade, Luke Wright bludgeoned and Eoin Morgan scythed with equal rapidity. There seemed just enough balls for Hales to make his hundred when he struck a low full toss to long on. While it is true that T20 openers will inevitably hold most of the batting records, he now has three of England's top seven scores.

Having made 248 in the first match and chosen to field, Australia must have rather welcomed the pursuit. It was hardly the Ashes but it was the pick me up that their tour badly needed.

They were never quite in the hunt from the moment the record breaker from the first match, Aaron Finch, was out to his fifth ball. Shane Watson was run out by Morgan from point in the third over and Australia were already up against it.

David Warner let England know they were in a contest and welcomed the spin of Danny Briggs with fours over mid-on and cover and a booming six over long on. With Warner anything is possible but when he was caught by the cover sweeper, the ball after being dropped at deep mid-off by Steven Finn, the rest was entertainment more than a tilt at victory.

Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Enner Valencia
footballStriker has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame via winning the title with ‘The Blue Ballet’ in Ecuador
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities