Hales brought up his century and ended the match with four balls to spare with sixes to keep his side in the hunt in a wide open group 1.
After scoring his 103 off 62 balls, he smashed another huge six off the next ball to bring the required run-rate back to 9 from 9 balls.
With 7 to win Ravi Bopara, dubbed England’s finisher, did the best possible thing for England off the first ball of Angelo Mathews’ last over in getting a single and putting Hales on strike.
Then with six to win, Hales decided one ball was all he needed to wrap things up and whacked it over the fence at mid-wicket.
Making the game more of an achievement, England were disastrous in the field during Sri Lanka’s innings.
They piled on an impressive 4-189 thanks mostly to the brilliant Mahayla Jayawardene, whose 89 from 51 balls was silky smooth and largely risk free. Although he should have been out early in the innings when a catch from Michael Lumb looked clean but was given not out.
Also, Dilshan provide the foundation at the top of the order with 55 while Perera came out at the end to smash an invaluable 22 from 12 balls.
England were then straight onto the back foot when Michael Lumb was bowled in the first over of their chase. And the next ball they were two wickets down without a run on the board.
But Hales and Morgan were brilliant, first constructing their innings and then taking flight.
With four overs to go and England looking well on their way to victory, Morgan looked to accelerate but only managed to hole out for a well-made 57 off the bowling of Kulasekara.
Jos Buttler fell soon after for just 2 to the same man, who took his fourth wicket for the innings but Hales stuck around with calm support from Bopara to finish the job.
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