Hales heroics help England level Pakistan series


Alex Hales starred with a maiden one-day international century as England thumped Pakistan by 95 runs to level the four-match series at 1-1.

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace revealed stern words were exchanged when England limped to a six-wicket loss in Wednesday's opener.

And England responded in Friday's contest in Abu Dhabi as Hales, who made 10 last time out, led the way.

His knock of 109 included seven fours and three sixes, while century partnerships with Jason Roy (54) and Joe Root (63) steered England to 283-5 from their 50 overs.

Pakistan were poor in reply. Sarfraz Ahmed's 64 was their only resistance after a top-order collapse.

Chris Woakes (4-33) and David Willey (3-25) were England's main protagonists with the ball, while Adil Rashid (1-32) was also excellent.

Roy recovered from an uncomfortable opening against Mohammad Irfan (1-46) to provide a perfect foil for Hales, and he showed no fear against England's Test series nemesis Yasir Shah (0-70) with a fine reverse sweep.

A mistimed slog off Wahab Riaz (3-43) saw him caught at mid-on, but Hales and Root continued to score well.

Hales showed plenty of maturity and a couple of fours off Shoaib Malik (0-42) edged him towards 50, before he had a successful review on 48 when given caught down the leg side.

The nerves appeared to creep in as his he neared the 90s, but two massive sixes off Yasir and a sweep for two off Iftikhar Ahmed (1-31) brought up his century.

Pakistan got their man when Hales missed a slog allowing Sarfraz to quickly swipe off his bails.

Root had kept the scoreboard ticking, but should have been out when Wahab allowed a simple catch to go through his hands at short cover.

Wahab made amends with a brilliant delivery to bowl Root, and he also struck to take Jos Buttler (11) as England added just 38 runs in the last eight overs.

Pakistan made a slow start in reply as Willey had Babar Azam (4) trapped lbw, before Mohammad Hafeez - centurion in the first match - edged the same bowler behind for a duck.

Woakes then made another breakthrough as Iftikhar (5) pulled straight to mid-on, and Shoaib (13) fell to the same bowler with a misjudged pull to James Taylor at midwicket.

Woakes' delight continued when Azhar (22) dragged on, before Adil Rashid was rewarded for a fine spell when Mohammad Rizwan (17) got a bottom edge onto the stumps.

Anwar Ali (23) and Sarfraz put on 65, but neither man made it to the end - the latter nipped behind to become Woakes' fourth victim.