Cricket – Hales targets first century

England opener Alex Hales is eager to end his wait for a Test century and is hoping to reach the landmark in the fourth Test against Pakistan. The 27-year-old right-hander has passed 50 five times in 19 Test innings to date, but has yet to convert one of those starts into a three-figure score. And Hales, who made 17 and 54 in the victory in the third Test at Edgbaston which gave England a 2-1 series lead with one game to play, is determined to cement his place at the top of the England batting order with a major contribution at The Oval. He told reporters ahead of the final Test of the summer, which gets under way on Thursday: "The results I have had this series have not been what I've wanted. But the exciting thing for me is that I'm developing and learning. I think the second innings at Edgbaston showed that, but at the same time it's about scoring runs and getting results and I know I need to score more. It's important in anyone's career to get a century." Hales can be backed at 5/1 with bet365 to be top England 1st innings batsman at The Oval.

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