England v West Indies: Stuart Broad praises ‘fantastic’ Alex Hales
Stuart Broad heaps praise on batsman Alex Hales as England beat West Indies by seven wickets in the Twenty20 international
Stuart Broad heaped praise on Alex Hales after the batsmen inspired England to a seven-wicket victory over West Indies in their one-off Twenty20 clash at Trent Bridge on Sunday.
Hales thrived in the spotlight following Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from limited-overs cricket, producing an assured performance before being dismissed for 99, missing out on the chance to become the Three Lions’ first centurion in the T20 format.
Ravi Bopara posted a respectable 59 from 43 balls, but his dismissal ensured a nervous final over as England successfully chased down the tourists’ total of 173-4 with two deliveries to spare.
“We did some really good things today,” Broad told Sky Sports. “There are certain things we can improve on, West Indies hit it fantastically at the death.
“It was a competitive score although the wicket was pretty good and we were always pretty confident we could chase that and the way Alex Hales batted was absolutely fantastic.
“He was pretty distraught not to get 100 and the 20-odd thousand in Trent Bridge would have felt the same.”
West Indies recovered from the early dismissal of Chris Gayle, with Dwayne Smith posting 70 runs, followed by an impressive partnership between Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard which put their side in a strong position after a blistering 63 in the final four overs.
The tourists took the wicket of opener Craig Kieswetter but England responded, with Hales hitting 99 off 63 deliveries as the 23-year-old put on a stand of 159 with Bopara, before the duo both fell in the final over.
Eoin Morgan then scored the necessary runs to seal victory – and although captain Broad admitted England showed signs of rustiness, he was satisfied with the result.
“Having not played Twenty20 cricket for a while, you expect to be a little bit rusty in the thinking, not so much the skills,” he added.
“We didn’t maybe didn’t react as quickly as we could.
“But at the end of the day, 170 on what was a fantastic Trent Bridge wicket with a quick outfield, we were happy with.”