• England v West Indies, T20I, Trent Bridge

'Devastated' Hales hoping to kick on after 99

ESPN staff
June 25, 2012
Alex Hales leaves the field after making 99 © AFP

Alex Hales says he was "devastated" to see the opportunity of recording the first ever international Twenty20 century by an England player slip by in the win over the West Indies.

Hales fell one run short of the milestone but his 99, in a record 159-run partnership with Ravi Bopara, propelled the home side to a commanding seven-wicket victory against the West Indies at Trent Bridge.

Despite his match-winning innings on his home ground, the Nottinghamshire player was hugely disappointed to have missed out on a ton.

"I am not going to lie - I'm devastated to miss out on a hundred," Hales told BBC Sport. "I am also disappointed not to see the team over the line, though I am happy the guys managed to do so at the end."

A hundred may have eluded Hales but he still posted the highest score by an England batsman in the 20-over format, bettering Eoin Morgan's unbeaten 85 against South Africa at Johannesburg. Nevertheless, Hales was quick to play down comparisons with Kevin Pietersen, who has retired from all limited-overs cricket at international level.

When asked whether he felt as though he was on trial as a replacement for Pietersen, Hales said: "Possibly a little bit, but at the end of the day I am very different to Kevin Pietersen. I am not resting on my laurels - I still have to put in the performances for Notts, and hope that I get a chance for England.

"I had to come out and do as well here as I have done for Notts. I back myself and hope it pays off. Today it did."

Hales, who was bowled by Ravi Rampaul, said he is hoping to kick on after his eye-catching knock.

"It is an opportunity. I'm happy with the way I played today but there's still a lot of cricket this season for Notts and hopefully I can keep myself in the frame for the next few games," he noted.

"It's very mixed emotions to have not made the hundred. He [Ravi Rampaul] bowled the ball exactly where I wanted to I just missed it but I'm very happy with the 99 and for England to get the win."

England captain Stuart Broad felt for the 23-year-old but lauded his "fantastic performance".

"I think I was as gutted as he was," Broad told BBC Sport. "He got us so far, and the ball was there for him to clip to mid-wicket and celebrate.

"His home supporters were gutted as well, but I thoroughly enjoyed what was a fantastic Twenty20 knock."

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