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 mark of 444 for three en route to thrashing Pakistan on Tuesday.
Hales’s innings at his home ground of Trent Bridge was the highest ODI score by any England batsman and helped the hosts to a 169-run win that ensured they won the series 3-0 with two to play.
“I think 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 number 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.
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Partnerships of 248 between Hales and Joe Root (85) and an unbroken 161 shared by Buttler and England captain Eoin Morgan (57 not out) overwhelmed Pakistan’s bowlers in a total featuring 16 sixes.
This was a timely innings for Hales, who had managed just 145 runs at an average of 18.12 during England’s preceding 2-2 Test series with Pakistan.
That was followed by meagre scores of seven and 14 in the first two ODIs at Southampton and Lord’s respectively.
But back in front of his Nottinghamshire home crowd, the opener looked a far more confident and authoritative batsman as Robin Smith’s 167 not out against Australia at Edgbaston back in 1993 finally ceased to be 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.”
Jason Roy, Hales’s opening partner had gone close to breaking Smith’s record with 162 against Sri Lanka at The Oval, his home ground, in June.
“I knew I was I closing in,” Hales said.
“When I heard the cheer going around the ground I knew something was happening, but at the time I was unaware,” he added 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.
“It’s exciting for us as I don’t think we’ve reached our full potential yet,” Hales said. “We’re still learning with the bat and ball and still improving in the field so hopefully there’s a lot more to come in the next two years,” Hales said.
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