Match-winner Alex Hales admitted he’s surpassed his own expectations so far this season after Notts Outlaws thrashed Ireland in the Friends Provident Trophy.
Hales struck 106 from 92 balls, with nine fours and a six, as Notts posted a record-breaking 346-9, with Ali Brown smashing 89 from 57 balls and Will Jefferson (57 not out) and Adam Voges (48) also making handy contributions.
In reply, Ireland could only muster 212-9 as Notts romped home by 134 runs, with Mark Ealham claiming 4-40 and Samit Patel 3-30.
But it was the partnership of 150 from just 102 balls for the second wicket between Hales and Ali Brown that will stick in the memory, as the pair put the Ireland bowling to the sword.
Brown took charge in that partnership with 13 fours and a six, but Hales stepped on the gas once the experienced Brown was caught at deep square leg.
Having made 52 in his maiden limited-overs innings against Leicestershire, the 20-year-old right hander took things a step further when he reached three figures with a punch through the covers.
A delighted Hales said: “It was a brilliant feeling to reach 100 and I’m really pleased with how I’ve started the season.
“But I don’t want to get ahead of myself, as we’ve got a couple of tough games ahead. I need to show I can make runs in any situation and not just when we’re on top of the opposition.
“To be honest, when the season started I expected to be in the Second XI. But when Matt Wood and Will Jefferson got injured in pre-season, I was given an opportunity and hopefully I’ve taken it.
“My job was made a lot easier with Ali Brown batting alongside me. I probably prefer one-day cricket as I think it suits my style, and to have him at the other end lets me play the way I want to play - he’ll certainly keep the pressure on the bowlers.
“I’m definitely an aggressive batsman. I like to go out and express myself and fingers crossed, I can continue to do that. If I get the chance to play in this week’s Championship game, I’ll be looking to establish myself in the four-day team as well.”
Voges, standing in as skipper with Chris Read attending the birth of his first child, was content to take the singles and allow Hales to attack, and continued that role with Jefferson free to hit out.
A late flurry of wickets could not prevent Notts from posting their highest-ever total in one-day cricket, beating their previous best (set in 60 overs) of 344-6, set against Northumberland in 1994 in the old NatWest Trophy.
Ireland never stood a chance in the chase after losing early wickets, with Patel chipping away during the middle overs before Ealham returned at the death to add to his haul from earlier, as the visitors finished on 212-9.
HALES BLAZES A TRAIL AS IRELAND ARE BEATEN
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