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T20 World Cup: To get a chance to play in the tournament is a special feeling, says Alex Hales

Adelaide, Nov 10 (IANS) When the Men’s T20 World Cup squad was announced, Alex Hales name wasn’t in the main squad. Couple of hours later, a freak injury to Jonny Bairstow opened the path for him to be a part of the showpiece event in Australia.

On Thursday, in the second semifinal at Adelaide Oval, Hales was all class and power mixed to hit an unbeaten 86 off 47 balls, hitting ten sixes and 13 fours collectively with captain Jos Buttler making 80 not out off 49 balls to lead England to a ten-wicket thrashing of India and set-up a date with Pakistan for the final in Melbourne on Sunday.

“A huge occasion, really happy with the way I played. I think this is one of the best grounds to bat in in the world. Great value to hit your shots with the short square boundaries, and a ground I have good memories at. I never thought I’d play in a World Cup again, and to get a chance is a special feeling. It’s a country I love playing in. Jos was unbelievable out there,” said Hales in the post-match presentation ceremony.

England were already in the groove of playing knockout cricket in the tournament since the mid-way of their Super 12 phase, where they lost to Ireland by five runs via DLS method and were on a winning streak, something which did propel them to put their best in every department against India.

“(The Ireland game) feels a long time ago. The character we’ve shown to get through the tournament since then, and put in our best performance today, has been amazing. We came here excited, it was a really good feeling when we came in. A group effort from 1 to 11,” beamed Buttler.

England bowled away from the short dimensions which India were looking to target and though they were hammered for 68 runs in last five overs, but started really well to set the base for a convincing win.

“We always want to start as fast as we can and aggressive. Adil Rashid was down at No. 11 today, and that gives us the freedom to come out aggressive, that depth. Hales was tough to bowl at today, he used the dimensions of the ground, and we complement each other perfectly. He was a brilliant partner today,” added Buttler.

Buttler signed off by praising Chris Jordan for picking 3/43 in his first match of the tournament, coming in for an injured Mark Wood. “Special praise to Chris Jordan for coming in today, not having played so far, and he ran into Hardik playing fantastically at the death, but I thought he handed that really well.”

–IANS

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