Hales sees record knock as inspiration for England

Alex Hales on the way to his record-breaking 171 in the third one-day international against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Tuesday. After a string of failures in the Test series and two low scores in the earlier ODIs, he surpassed Robin Smith's mark of
Alex Hales on the way to his record-breaking 171 in the third one-day international against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Tuesday. After a string of failures in the Test series and two low scores in the earlier ODIs, he surpassed Robin Smith's mark of 167 not out against Australia in 1993. Hales' knock was the basis for England's victory by a mammoth margin of 169 runs.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

NOTTINGHAM • Alex Hales does not expect to be an England record-holder for long, after his 171 helped the team post a new world one-day international (ODI) mark of 444-3 en route to thrashing Pakistan by 169 runs on Tuesday.

The innings at his home ground of Trent Bridge was the highest score by any England batsman in this format and helped the hosts take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

But Hales believes it is just a matter of time before an England colleague betters his score.

"I think (because of) the improvements we've shown in the last couple of years, I'm not sure how long that record will stand," he said.

"The batting we've got all the way down to pretty much No. 11, so it's an exciting time for us as a team."

Jos Buttler made a dashing 90 not out that included England's fastest ODI 50 - off just 22 balls.

Partnerships of 248 between Hales and Joe Root (85) and an unbroken 161 between Buttler and England captain Eoin Morgan (57 not out) overwhelmed Pakistan's bowlers in a total that featured 16 sixes.

It was a timely innings for Hales, who had managed just 145 runs at an average of 18.12 during England's drawn Test series against the tourists.

That was followed by scores of seven and 14 in the first two ODIs. But back in front of his Nottinghamshire home crowd, the opener overtook Robin Smith's 167 not out against Australia in 1993 to take England's highest individual ODI score.

"It's been a tough few weeks personally," he said.

"The Test series didn't go to plan - but when it comes to the white ball in the last 12 months, I've felt in good form. I was always confident heading into this series, and it's nice to put it right tonight."

Jason Roy, Hales' opening partner, had gone close to breaking Smith's record with his electrifying 162 against Sri Lanka at The Oval - his home ground - in June.

"I knew I was closing in," said Hales. "When I heard the cheer going round the ground, I knew something was happening, but at the time I was unaware," he said of the moment he broke Smith's long-standing record.

"It's a special feeling."

This victory was further evidence of the progress England have made in 50-over cricket since their dismal first-round exit at last year's World Cup. And Hales believes there is better to come from the 2019 World Cup hosts.

"It's exciting for us as I don't think we've reached our full potential yet," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2016, with the headline 'Hales sees record knock as inspiration for England'. Print Edition | Subscribe