Hales heroics spark brilliant England victory
Alex Hales became the first Englishman to score a Twenty20 International century as the 2010 champions kept alive their World Cup semi-final hopes with a dramatic six-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Thursday.
Hales lashed six sixes in his unbeaten 116 off 64 balls, the final one vanishing over mid-wicket in the last over to complete England's highest-ever run chase with four balls to spare after being set a huge target of 190 in the Group One Super 10 clash.
"Centuries in this format do not come along very often. A couple of times in the 90s, I'm very pleased to go over the line today," Hales, who shared the record for England's previous highest T20 score of 99 with Luke Wright, said at the presentation ceremony.
England captain Stuart Broad was full of praise for his team mate.
"On the biggest stage in a World Cup, in conditions a little bit foreign to us, it's one of the best knocks I've ever seen," Broad said.
Jayawardene, Dilshan cash in on poor fielding
Put into bat at Chittagong's Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Sri Lanka lost opener Kusal Perera in the second over but Mahela Jayawardene (89) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (55) cashed in on some dreadful England fielding to lift their team to 189 for four.
Jayawardene was on nought when he was lucky to be given not out by TV umpire Steve Davis after Lumb seemed to take a good diving catch at cover.
Jade Dernbach spilled a catch offered by Jayawardene on 19 and Tim Bresnan dropped Dilshan as the Sri Lankan pair forged a 145-run partnership for the second wicket.
Bresnan gave Jayawardene another life when he put down a straightforward catch on the boundary in the 15th over and Bopara dropped Thisara Perera in the final over.
Morgan-Hales revive England
England made a woeful start to their reply, slumping to nought for two after paceman Nuwan Kulasekara removed Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali for ducks in the first over.
But Hales and Eoin Morgan (57) shared a dazzling 152-run stand for the third wicket in 15.2 overs, dragging England back into the match with ferocious hitting and Ravi Bopara joined Hales to see them through to their target.
'Ball was slippery'
Broad was happy to have bounced back from Saturday's defeat by New Zealand in a rain-ruined match but admitted catching had emerged as a major problem area for his team.
"You never look for excuses at the end of the day. We really messed up, dropping five or six catches.
"The ball was not going in the hand very well, it was really slippery, something we are not particularly used to. So it's something that we'll bear in mind for our next game (against South Africa on Saturday).
"We can't afford to drop key players like that. We got away today with an unbelievable knock from one of our guys. We have to raise our standard with catching from the next game."
Star performer: Hales blitz blows Sri Lanka away
Alex Hales wrote his name in cricket history books after slamming a 60-ball hundred that guided England to a pulsating World T20 victory over Sri Lanka on Thursday.
Asked to bat first, Sri Lanka posted a competitive 189 for 4 from the stipulated 20 overs.
England then got off to a worst possible start, losing Michael Lumb and Mooen Ali in the opening over, without a run on the scoreboard.
With the likes of Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga in their ranks, Sri Lanka looked certain to roll over the English.
But Hales, who opened the innings with Lumb, was not ready to go down without the fight, and took the attack to the opposition with counter-attacking game.
The dew didnít help Sri Lankaís cause either as the spinners found it tough to grip the ball.
Hales took on Angelo Mathews and hit the boundary boards in the second over. He then repeated the shot off Nuwan Kulasekara (4-32), who had dismissed Lumb and Ali.
He and Eoin Morgan turned the match on its head with sensational hitting. The two batsmen rattled up a 152-run stand for the third wicket.
Hales upped the ante in the 13th over, bowled by Thisara Perera, by smashing him for three boundaries.
He then made merry in Mendisís last over, smoking three massive sixes and a boundary to bring the run-rate down dramatically and reached the three-figure mark with a six off Kulasekara, to become the first Englishman to hit a century in T20s.
Aptly, Hales finished the game with another six, the ball vanishing over mid-wicket in the last over to complete England's highest-ever run chase with four balls to spare.
At the end of it all he had hit six sixes and 11 boundaries in his 64-ball 116.
More importantly, he kept England in the race for a berth in the semi-finals.
England's Hales storm sinks Sri Lanka
Alex Hales hit a sensational unbeaten hundred as England pulled off a dramatic six-wicket win over Sri Lanka to throw open the Group I for semi-finals places in the ICC World Twenty20 in Chittagong on Thursday.
Chasing a huge 190-run target, England rode on Hales' magnificent maiden T20 hundred to overhaul the target with four balls to spare after losing two wickets for no score in the first over.
In an extraordinary display of power hitting, Hales punished the Lankan bowlers with half-a-dozen sixes and 11 boundaries as his blistering 116-run knock came off just 64 balls. He finished the match with a huge six off Angelo Mathews to keep England afloat in the tournament.
Sri Lanka posted a huge 189 for four as Jayawardene came up with a blistering 89-run knock while Dilshan played a perfect second fiddle with a 47-ball 55 in their huge 145-run second-wicket partnership after being invited to bat.
England, who chose to field, were guilty of dropping at least four catches. Twice they let Jayawardene off the hook.
England could not have dreamt of a worse start as they lost Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali to Nuwan Kulasekara in the very first over, without a run on the board.
However, Hales and Eoin Morgan turned the match on its head with sensational hitting as the two batsmen joined hands to rattle up a 152-run stand for the third wicket.
They batted intelligently as they steadied the ship by rotating the strike and then hammered the Lankan bowlers around the park. It all started with Ajantha Mendis' over when Hales punished the spinner with two sixes and two fours as England creamed off 25 runs in the 15th over.
The contest became an edge-of-the-seat thriller as Kulasekara returned and again took two wickets in an over. He first dismissed Morgan and then scalped Joes Buttler (2).
Hales kept playing fearlessly and completed his century with a six off Kulasekara over the cover region and hit a massive six in the next ball to send the shock-waves in the Lankan camp.
They needed only seven off isx balls and Hales finished it off in style with a shot, soaring over deep midwicket into the stands.
England remain in fourth place with two points but they have played only two matches. Sri Lanka are on the top with four points from three matches, followed by South Africa (4) and New Zealand (2).
Earlier, Sri Lanka were off to a poor start when Kusal Perera (3) departed without contributing much in team's cause. The pitch was doing a bit for the pacemen but some sloppy fielding by England spoiled the chances created by bowlers.
Mahela Jayawardene played some delectable shots, specially the flicks off his legs, and together with opener Tillakaratne Dilshan steadied the innings. They did not set the field on fire but scored at a decent pace and kept wickets in hand, albeit, with contribution from the fielders.
Luck was on Jayawardene's side from the start as he was caught in the first ball he faced but was given not out as TV replays remained inconclusive about the clean catch.
Later, sloppy England fielder dropped him on scores of 19 and 80 as the Sri Lankan punished them 11 fours and three sixes.
Jayawardene had luck on his side as he got two reprives early in his innings. A catch of his in the very first ball he faced was not found clean by the umpires and when he was on 19, Jade Dernbach grassed the chance off Tim Bresnan.
Dilshan, uncharacteristically, was going just a run-a-ball. Trying to step it up, he smashed Stuart Broad to a mid-wicket six, in the eighth over and was dropped by Bresnan in square leg region off the same bowler. He was on 21 at that time. At half-way stage the Asian Champions were 70 for one.
Jayawardene took James Tredwell to the task as he hit the off-spinner two consecutive boundaries in the 11th over and for a six and four in his next and also completed his half-century.
Jayawardene, when on 80, was again dropped by Bresnan off Dernbach at sweeper cover when the Sri Lankan hit a low full toss on the off side straight to cover boundary.
Chris Jordan finally dismissed Jayawardene by castling him and Dilshan too followed him as Sri Lankans went for the kill.