England batsman Alex Hales put on a show on Tuesday (June 19) to script a thumping 242-run over Australia at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Hales scored a blistering 147 off 92 balls (16 fours and 5 sixes) as England posted a massive record-breaking total of 481 in 50 overs.
Besides Hales, openers Jason Roy (82 runs off 61 balls) and Jonny Bairstow (139 runs off 92 balls) also played out of their skins. Eventually, England bundled out the old enemy for 239 in 37 overs and secure the ODI series victory with two games to spare.
"There's no better feeling and no better team to do it against than the Aussies. To get a score like that at my home ground and get the record score is one of the days I'll never forget in my life," Hales quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"I don't think my situation has changed much in terms of those two guys being ahead of me. You've got Jonny who's got four hundreds in five games [six] and Jason, when in form, is one of the best players in the world. I need to keep knocking on the door and scoring as many runs as I can. That innings was one step towards that," he added.
With this herculean batting effort, England also went past their own record of 444 runs that they put up against Pakistan in an ODI at Trent Bridge in 2016. Hales was also the chief demolisher back then. While opening the innings, the lanky right-hander had scored a jaw-dropping 171 off 122 balls.
"I know Trent Bridge like the back of my hand. It's a fast-scoring ground and I just came in and played. I looked to play good strong shot to start and once you get yourself in, you can expand a bit more and play those bigger shots. I felt comfortably from ball one. Every Trent Bridge ODI, I've headed in with a good head space. I've got good memories here of playing for England and Notts as well. It's a ground that has a lot of strong memories for me," Hales remarked.
Even though England boasts some of the most swashbuckling batsmen in their line-up, there is no one who has cracked the barrier of double ton in ODIs. Hales, however, feels that the elusive milestone is around the corner.
"We've had chances to do it. I think Jason could have probably got it today if he hadn't got run out. He was really on today, he looked brilliant. There was maybe a chance at the Grange. We're not far off from getting that score but it's not something we really talk about day in, day out. I think that will take care of itself the way we're heading as a team and a batting unit. I don't think it's far off," he opined.
The 29-year-old also sounded confident for his team to breach the 500 runs mark in international 50-over cricket.
"When we got past the 444, we had a little smirk to each other and said let's push to that 500, it's a great chance. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Much like the double hundred, it won't be long coming,” Hales stated.
"That's something we've spoken about since the World Cup, about not having a ceiling, about not setting targets and not having limitations on what we can do as a team. I think that's a really good head space. We've had our moments where we've crashed and been bowled out cheaply a few times. But the way we've learned and adapted from those games has been brilliant and it's something we're going to keep looking to do heading into the World Cup," he concluded.
The fourth ODI between England and Australia will be played at the Chester-le-Street on Thursday (June 21) while Manchester will host the fifth and final ODI on Sunday (June 24).