After more than three years in the wilderness and alongside his captain Jos Buttler, Alex Hales has led England to the promised land with a match-winning knock against India in their T20 World Cup semi-final.

Set 169 runs to win, Hales blasted 86 not out from 47 balls as England reached 0-170 with 24 balls to spare in Thursday night’s semi-final at Adelaide Oval.

England’s stunning 10-wicket win sets up a Sunday night final against Pakistan at the MCG.

India posted 6-168 with Hardik Pandya (63 from 33 balls) smacking five sixes and Virat Kohli (50 from 40 balls) making his fourth half-century from six knocks in the tournament.

But Hales and Buttler (80* from 49 balls) launched an audacious chase. They took 63 runs from the initial six overs and reached a century stand from just 10.1 overs.

Hales was banished from England’s white-ball set-up after a second failed drugs test for recreational substances ruled him out of the 50-over World Cup in 2019.

Alex Hales completes a shot to the leg side while Rishabh Pant watches on
Alex Hales made a quickfire half-century at the top of England’s order.(Getty Images: Darrian Traynor)

He didn’t play for his country again until less than two months ago when recalled to the T20 squad after prolific run-scoring in the Big Bash League.

The powerful opener, who was also involved in Ben Stokes’ brawl in Bristol in 2017, stunned India with a daring innings featuring seven sixes and four fours.

Hales’ knock overshadowed his skipper Buttler’s superb contribution: the skipper set the tone in the opening over of the chase by smacking Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three fours.

India, despite enjoying majority support in the 40,094-strong crowd, never recovered as Hales and Buttler (nine fours, three sixes) shredded their bowlers.

The pair put on the highest-ever partnership in T20 World Cups.

Their feat was also England’s highest opening stand in T20 cricket and the nation’s second-largest union for any wicket in the shortest format.

Jos Buttler plays through the off side as Rishabh Pant reacts behind the stumps
Jos Buttler came out swinging from ball one.(Getty Images: Sarah Reed)

Earlier, Kohli boosted his tournament record to 296 runs at an average of 98.67.

And Hardik provided fireworks in a late assault as India smashed 68 runs from their last five overs.

Hardick cracked five sixes and four fours in an onslaught which ended on the last ball of the innings when he trod on his stumps facing Chris Jordan (3-43).

Jordan replaced fellow paceman Mark Wood (stiffness) in England’s side while Phil Salt was summoned for Dawid Malan (groin).

Both are rated a chance of recovering for Sunday night’s cup finale against Pakistan, who downed New Zealand by seven wickets on Wednesday night.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our live blog.

Key events

Live updates

11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:32am

By Simon Smale

England celebrates

We’ll leave you with this picture of a jubilant England trio.

(Getty Images)

Good night.

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11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:28am

By Simon Smale

Liam Livingstone is happy

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11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:27am

By Simon Smale

England nailed it

A flawlessly executed execution.

– SteveG.

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11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:27am

By Simon Smale

Key Event

England meet Pakistan on Sunday

So, we have our finalists.

(Getty Images)

I’m sure plenty would have hoped for an India vs Pakistan repeat, but that’s not what we’re going to get.

England and Pakistan meet 30 years on from when they played in the Cricket World Cup final at the MCG, which Pakistan won.

There will be a battle of Australian coaches, with Mike Hussey in England’s backroom team and Matthew Hayden leading Pakistan’s charge, so there is some local interest.

But all up, it should be a cracking final between two superb teams.

We’ll be here to blog that game as well from 7:00pm AEST on Sunday, so I look forward to joining you then.

Congratulations to England, good evening.

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11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:23am

By Simon Smale

England enjoy ‘best performance so far’: Buttler

Jos Buttler is speaking.

“I think the character we’ve shown as a group ever since [losing to Ireland] … getting to this point to put in our best performance so far,” Buttler says.

“It certainly feels that way,” Buttler says when asked if this was the perfect match.

“We came here very excited, there was a really good feel around the group.

“I thought everyone from 1 to 11 performed well today.”

He says England wanted to go hard and that Adil Rashid was down to bat 11, speaking to the length of England’s batting line up.

“There’s one big dance to go,” he says.

Buttler credits England’s replacements, particularly Chris Jordan who came in having not played and bowled brilliantly to take three wickets.

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11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:16am

By Simon Smale

‘We just didn’t turn up today’: Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is speaking now.

“It’s pretty disappointing, how we turned up today” he says.

“I thought we still batted pretty well at the back end to get to that score,” he adds.

“But we were not good enough with the ball.

“It was definitely no a wicket where a team could come in and chase down in 17, 18 overs, but things like that can happen.

“With the ball we just didn’t turn up today.”

He’s asked why India can’t handle the pressure.

He says he does not know.

“”I thought the way we started off with the ball was not ideal,” he says.

“And that shows we were a little nervy to start off with.

“Again, you’ve got to give credit to those openers as well, they played really well.”

He says India were aware that the runs would be scored square, but they could not stop them.

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11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:10am

By Simon Smale

Alex Hales is player of the match

“It would be right up there for sure,” Hales says as to whether that was the perfect match.

(Getty Images)

‘Huge occasion, India in the semifinal of a world cup, huge occasion and I’m really happy with the way I played.”

“It’s as special as it gets.”

He says the Adelaide Oval is one of the best grounds to bat at in the world, especially in the power plays.

Hales probably thought his international career was over after being thrown off the England team before the 2019 home World Cup, is now about to play in a World Cup final.

“I never thought I’d play in a World Cup again,” he says.

“To get the chance is a very special feeling, in a country that I love and have spent a lot of time in.

“Tonight is one of the best nights of my career.”

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11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:07am

By Simon Smale

England fans go home happy

(Getty Images)
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11h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:06am

By Simon Smale

Impressive stuff, wasn’t it

Goodness me! Hales and Buttler got off to a great start, maintained the pressure and then exploded. Is there someone there to keep an eye on you Simon?

– Mike

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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 11:02am

By Simon Smale

Key Event

England hammers India, wins by 10 wickets

(Getty Images)

A statement performance from England, who have utterly demolished India here to set up a repeat of the 1992 World Cup final against Pakistan at the MCG.

It was a real hammering too, Buttler and Hales never let up, a supreme batting performance from two of the best hitters in world cricket.

India will have to lick their wounds, compared to England their bowling was just not good enough over the course of the match.

(Getty Images)

India’s massive support was silenced early and was never a factor to be honest.

But take nothing away from Buttler (80 off 49) and Hales (86 off 47) though, it was unbelievable batting from them to get the win.

(Getty Images)
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:59am

By Simon Smale

16th over – Shami continues

Buttler goes aerial, but doesn’t get hold of it. Just a couple of runs to the cover boundary.

Slower ball, outside off, Buttler can’t make contact.

Buttler thrashes the ball hard into the off side. Just a single from it.

FOUR! Hales bangs the ball over the cover fielders and he beats the fielder on the rope for four, his heart didn’t look like it was in a dive, to be honest.

England need 6 more.

Shami appeals as Hales is hit on the pad, but he was a long way down and it looked leg side. A single.

England need 5 off 25.


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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:55am

By Simon Smale

15th over – Axar Patel comes back

A single off the first.

A dot.

Then another single for Buttler.

Yorker, Hales couldn’t get it away and didn’t know where the ball was. But he got back.

He fends into the off side, no run.

BEATEN! Pant whips the bails off but Hales was back.

ENG 0-156, need 13 off 30
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:51am

By Simon Smale

14th over – Mohammed Shami comes into the attack after a big conflab

Driven, superb stop at cover to save a boundary.

Buttler fends to cover, no run taken.

FOUR! Inside out from Buttler! He just launched that over the infield and the ball slowly rolls to the boundary for four.

SIX DOWN THE GROUND! This is absolutely extraordinary! Buttler stands and delivers, back down the ground over the bowlers head. That’s flown 100 metres off the bat. COME ON! THIS IS INSANE BATTING!

(Getty Images)

150 for no loss.


(Getty Images)

Suryakumar Yadav just pushed it over the rope from about 15 metres away. He looks sheepish.

Everything is going wrong for India today. They’re been embarrassed.

ENG 0-154. need 15 from 36
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:47am

By Simon Smale

13th over – Hardik continues

Two, great running from Buttler and Hales, a feature of their partnership.

Buttler leans back and guides the ball to third man. A single.

The equation is under a run a ball, by the way.

Hales was off the strip there, backing away so much and still hit the ball straight up over the infield to the boundary, where it is cut off. They run three.

FOUR! Buttler moves to off and helps the ball on its way to fine leg. Easy.

Harsha Bhogle on commentary says England are knocking on the door. Harsha. There is no door. England have taken the walls down.

SIX! Stunning shot from Buttler to square leg


(Getty Images)

It’s come off 26 balls.

Have India given up? Looks like it.

A single off the last.

The huge pro-India crowd is silent. The players look very glum.

ENG 0-140, need 29 off 42
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:42am

By Simon Smale

12th over – Ashwin to bowl the next

Buttler punches square into the off side, just a single.

Hales helps that from off to mid on, just a single again.

Buttler wants two from his push to cover, they take two as well, good running from this pair.

Hales back away, cuts square for a single to the point boundary.


(Getty Images)

FOUR! Absolutely magnificent from Hales! A superb shot through cover and Hales is just having a day!

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

What an extraordinary innings this is turning into from Alex Hales.

ENG 0-123, IND were 3-77
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:37am

By Simon Smale

11th over – Hardik continues

SIX! Hales again. My word what a shot! Flat over midwicket for a six that again hits the rope on the full.

(Getty Images)

Hales jams the bat on that and it squirts to the midwicket area and they’ll run two here.

Hales walks back and cuts the ball straight to cover. No run.

Great yorker from Hardik, dug out by Hales and a single backward of square on the leg side.

Inside edge onto the pads for Buttler, who was followed by Hardik into the leg side, they run a single to point.

Bouncer to end the over.

ENG 0-108, IND were 2-74
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:31am

By Simon Smale

10th over – Arshdeep Singh comes back into the attack

FOUR! Hales walks backwards and forwards across his crease and then cuts the ball over the off side for another boundary.

England needed to keep their concentration after the break and it seems like they have.

Rohit Sharma was laying the law down in the drinks huddle. He’ll want a response.

Hales clips, uppishly through the leg side, just a single to square leg.

Buttler slams the ball straight, too straight as it happens, the ball cannoning into the stumps at the non-strikers end and they don’t run.  Probably saved at least two.

Another dot, Buttler pushes to cover.

Buttler hooks at short ball away from around forehead height, just a single to midwicket.

(Getty Images)

Hlaes twirls the bat in his hand, he punches the ball to mid off for a single.

ENG 0-98, IND were 2-62
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:23am

By Simon Smale

9th over – Hardik will have a go now

 Short, Hales hooks square and they take a single.

Buttler scoops! They’ll take a couple. Hang on, what just happened? The fielder tried to throw the ball to a teammate to help on the rope and threw it 30 metres past him. Shocking fielding. Bowler and captain are furious. And rightly so.

BEATEN! Through to Pant.

Buttler plays the ball up in the air to backward point, they run two.

Buttler cuts straight to point, no run.

BEATEN AGAIN! Pant carries on like a pork chop behind the stumps, trying to breathe some life into the innings for India.

Good over, the best so far for India, just 7 from it.

ENG 0-91, IND were 2-57

Rishabh Pant has gone down with cramp? I find that hard to believe. He batted 4 balls and now kept. Terrible fitness if that is cramp and not just a ploy to slow things down. We’ll have a drink an over early.

(Getty Images)
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:20am

By Simon Smale

8th over – Axar Patel continues

Hales pushes to cover, no run.

SIX! Wide mid on and Hales has another six! Bit short, the ball sat up and Hales just leans back and hammers the ball away.

BEATEN! Hales wanted to guide that to third man, and doesn’t make contact. He turns away and gets annoyed with himself.

He takes a single this time into the off side.

Buttler steps back and cuts into the off side to cover, just a single.

Straight down the ground, Buttler leaps over Axar and trots down the other end.


(Getty Images)

Off just 28 balls too, he’s been excellent.

ENG 0-84, IND were 1-51
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12h agoThu 10 Nov 2022 at 10:16am

By Simon Smale

7th over – Ashwin to bowl his first

They wanted Hardik Pandya to come into the attack, but I think because he was off the field they’ve said he can’t come in yet.

Fair enough.

The field spreads, England takes a single through Hales to long on.

The ball clips up off Buttler’s pads and India, and the crowd, want it to be caught. His bat was nowhere near it. No review.

(Getty Images)

Now he clips the ball to where slip should be off his hip, a quick single taken.

Bounce and turn for Ashwin, who is revving the ball over the top to get the dip.

A single taken into the on side.

Now Hales punches into the off.

SIX! What a shot! A sweep shot behind square and that has hit the rope on the full down there at backward square leg. Incredible shot.

Pushes past Ashwin at mid off for a single.

ENG 0-75, IND were 1-46
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