Pallekele: Eoin Morgan produces a superb innings but England fall to a 15-run defeat by West Indies in their first match of the Super Eights in Pallekele on Thursday.
Hales and Morgan put up a scorching 100-plus partnership to help lead the revival of the English chase after early dismissals left the Windies with an elevated required run-rate.
Chris Gayle struck in his first over to break the solid 55-run partnership between Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow as he dismissed the latter for 18 runs.
Kieron Pollard took a cracker of a catch while racing from long-on to send Bairstow packing after the Englishman thought that he had comfortably cleared the boundary.
Hales lead the English fight back as he notched up a solid 36-ball fifty, which included five 4s and two 6s.
Earlier, after the early dismissals of Craig Kieswetter and Luke Wright, Hales and Bairstow put up a decent 50-plus partnership to revive the England innings.
Chasing the target of 180 runs, England were stunned by Ravi Rampaul as he struck on the second and third balls of England's first over to dismiss Kieswetter and Wright early.
While Kieswetter played a terrible shot off a short of length ball to hit a simple one to the fielder at point, Wright on the other hand nicked an outside off ball straight to Chris Gayle at slips.
Previously with the help of heroics of Gayle (58) and Johnson Charles (84), West Indies set a 180-run target for England
West Indies finished with a decent score of 179/5 after 20 overs with Dwayne Bravo (11) and Andre Russell (10) still batting.
Jade Dernbach got the all important breakthrough for England when he scalped Charles (84) after his sweltering innings to give England some respite.
Earlier, Stuart Broad struck to dismiss Marlon Samuels (2), who in his attempt to slog a bouncer found the fielder waiting to receive the catch at backward point.
Charles, who notched up a scintillating 36-ball 50 with ten 4s and three 6s, kept the momentum with the West Indies in their onslaught against the Englishmen after the dismissal of Gayle.
After a blistering 29-ball 50 by Gayle (58), Graeme Swann stepped up the plate and dismissed the left-hander to the give England their first breakthrough.
Gayle smashed a brilliant half century with six 4s and four 6s to lead the West Indies attack; however, English spinner Swann got the better of the Calypso King when a lazy slog led to the left-hander being caught by Steven Finn.
West Indies 179 for 5 (Charles 84, Gayle 58, Broad 2-26)
England 164 for 4 (Morgan 71*, Hales 68, Rampaul 2-37)
Result West Indies won by 15 runs
Points West Indies 2, England 0
MOM Johnson Charles (West Indies)