England vs. Australia T20 International 2013: Alex Hales Backs Up New Contract

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2013

CHESTER-LE-STREET, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31:  England batsman Alex Hales hits out during the 2nd NatWest series T20 match between England and Australia at Emirates Durham ICG on August 31, 2013 in Chester-le-Street, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Alex Hales backed up his new England incremental contract with a batting blitz to lead England to victory in the second Twenty20 international with Australia.

Hales, along with all-rounder Luke Wright, was handed a deal after meeting the criteria of playing 10 T20 matches in the qualifying year.

According to the ECB’s website, non-contract players can earn incremental deals through a points system. A Test appearance contributes five points, while two points are awarded for T20 and ODI outings.

ECB national selector Geoff Miller, speaking to the ECB’s website, said: "Congratulations to both Alex and Luke. These contracts reflect the contributions both players have made for England in the T20 format since October."

Hales made his England debut exactly two years ago to the day against India in Manchester, but the Nottinghamshire batsman is yet to represent his country in either ODIs or Tests.

He has a healthy T20I average of a shade over 39, while his strike rate sits in the high 130s—according to ESPNCricinfo.

Having been handed a contract earlier in the day, Hales strode out at Chester-le-Street and smashed the Australian attack all around the Durham ground.

Scoring at a strike rate of 154.09, Hales crashed 94 in 61 balls to lead England to an imposing total of 195 for 5.

It proved too much for Australia, who were beaten by 27 runs, and England captain Stuart Broad was delighted with the effort of Hales and his opening partner Michael Lumb.

“After losing the toss the guys adapted to the conditions really well,” Broad told Sky Sports. "To get 60 off the first six without losing a wicket was fantastic and it was great to keep wickets in hand.”

Wright was also among the runs, making 30 in 18 balls as England ensured the series would end in a draw following Australia’s win in the first match earlier in the week.

A five-match ODI series begins on September 6 after a solitary warm-up match for each side: England play in Ireland while Australia take on Scotland.