Alex Hales produced a scintillating innings to blow Sri Lanka away and group one wide open as he led England to an unlikely six-wicket win on an incredible night in Chittagong in the T20 World Cup.
Hales blazed his way to a maiden T20 hundred in just 64 balls, smashing 11 boundaries and clearing the rope on six occasions to bring England back from the brink on an unforgettable night for Stuart Broad's team.
Asian Champions Sri Lanka - one of the form teams of the tournament - looked set to make it three consecutive wins when they set England what appeared to be a match winning 189/4. Mahela Jayawardene led the way with 89 off 51 balls and Tillakaratne Dilshan contributed 55 off 47, the pair adding 145 in 15 overs.
It has to be said, despite the brilliance of the Sri Lankan batting, they were aided by a poor England fielding performance that saw them drop five catches.
The England reply didn't start any better as Nuwan Kulasekara sent both Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali back to the pavilion without a run on the scoreboard, leaving England facing the prospect of an early exit from the tournament.
In an incredible turn of events, Hales and Eoin Morgan set about the Sri Lankan attack in particularly brutal fashion, the pair putting on a 152 in just 15 overs before Morgan sent one straight down the throat of Angelo Mathews, giving Nuwan Kulasekara his third wicket.
Jos Butler added to the drama when he lasted just three balls, with Dinesh Chandimal taking the catch from a mistimed shot. Kulasekara was again the wicket taker.
Despite the tension, Hales continued to smash the ball to all parts of the ground on his way to the first 100 of the tournament. He then proceeded to close out the game in style by crunching the ball 97 meters into the crowd to give England a much-needed win.
Sri Lanka remain top of the group with two wins from three, ahead of South Africa on net run-rate followed by New Zealand, England and the Netherlands.
Next up for England is South Africa, a must win-game for both sides if they wish to secure a semi-final berth.
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