Liam Livingstone credited recent adjustments for his success after scoring England’s fastest hundred in any format in the first match of the IT20 series against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
The Lancastrian blasted 103 from 43 deliveries to give England a sniff of winning after the visitors posted 232 in the first innings.
However, after Livingstone was caught by Shaheen Shah Afridi off the bowling of Shadab Khan, Shah Afridi closed out the game to finish with stand-out figures of 3-30 from 3.2 overs.
“It’s the best innings of my career,” Livingstone said.
“I hadn’t thought about cricket for ten days [due to isolation], and it has been a weird 18 months, so it was nice to chill out and have some time away.
“I have worked hard with Colly [Paul Collingwood] and Tres [Marcus Trescothick], and something clicked at Bristol in training, then I didn’t pick up a bat for ten days, but when I came back I felt really good.”
Livingstone’s fifty came from just 17 balls as the right-hander showered the returning Trent Bridge crowd with sixes, bringing up his ton off his 42nd delivery by blasting Khan over long-on.
The record-breaking innings was the first century of Livingstone’s international career.
“It was just one of those days,” he admitted.
“We knew it was one of those pitches, and Jason [Roy] was going well when I got in. Sometimes you feel like things go your way and it could be your day, and it was nice to have the consistency of striking the ball that I haven’t had in a while.
“If you look at four years ago when I came into this set-up, it is polar opposites. That’s the most pleasing thing, the work that I have put in, and the travelling around the world that I have done, to get to this place."
The 27-year-old was playing in an unfamiliar middle-order role. Usually an opener for his county and with the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League, Livingstone was tasked with batting at five, and entered the fray in the fifth over with the score on 48.
He took delight from performing in a different position, though, believing it would help his case for inclusion in England’s T20 World Cup squad.
“I love being around this environment, it’s great to be part of a group led brilliantly by Morgs. It is an environment where you can really enjoy your cricket, you can come in be yourself, be with the lads and play some entertaining cricket.
“Today was about being more in control. I’ve always been someone who is a bit reckless, and the thing I need to get better at is consistency.
“It is pleasing being able to do what I do at Lancashire, but in a different spot, playing in the middle order. Being more versatile makes me more selectable.”
The recent victory over Yorkshire Vikings at Trent Bridge secured Notts Outlaws a Vitality Blast home quarter final for the tenth time in 12 seasons.
Details of the fixture will be announced in due course. Register your interest in tickets here…