Alex Hales carried his sensational one-day international form into Twenty20 cricket with a swashbuckling innings in England’s warm-up match against a strong South Africa A outfit at Boland Park.
Having hit four fifties and a century during the tourists’ 3-2 ODI defeat to the Proteas, the opening batsman smashed 78 off 52 balls in Paarl.
Hales blasted nine fours and three sixes, reaching his half-century from just 32 balls, while Eoin Morgan weighed in with 42 off just 13 deliveries as England racked up 202 for six after winning the toss.
In-form Hales set off like a train, hitting 32 of England’s first 33 runs, but lost Jason Roy for 22 when he picked out long-on off Andile Phehlukwayo with 57 on the board in the sixth over.
James Vince, fresh from his stint in the Pakistan Super League, contributed 22 off 18 balls before falling to Wayne Parnell, ending a stand of 65 with Hales.
Hales departed to Aaron Phangiso in the 16th over, but Morgan struck five sixes, including three in the 17th over from Beuran Hendricks.
The skipper added 49 in just 17 balls with Jos Buttler, who departed to Phehlukwayo for 29, until he became Parnell’s second of three victims in the final over.
England rested Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes ahead of the first Twenty20 international against South Africa on Friday.