England tear up ODI records – is it the dawn of a new era?
Root and Buttler blast centuries as England hit 408 to destroy New Zealand
England's cricketers produced their greatest-ever display in a One Day International to destroy New Zealand at Edgbaston on Tuesday evening.
In total five new records were posted by England as they smashed a mammoth score of 408-9. That total was not only their highest in ODI history, surpassing the 391-4 made against Bangladesh in 2005, it was also the first time any side has broken the 400-run barrier in England.
But there was more. On a day when records tumbled like hapless Kiwi fielders trying to stop another boundary, England also:
- posted the highest ODI score by a number six batsman for England (129)
- smashed the most sixes scored in an ODI innings by England (14)
- compiled the highest seventh-wicket partnership in ODI history (177)
- recorded their biggest ODI victory in terms of runs (210)
Factor in the fact that Jos Buttler's century was the second-fastest in English ODI history and that Joe Root's the fourth, and it was easy to see why the Edgbaston crowd could hardly believe what they were witnessing on a sunny midweek evening.
"There was a lot of talk before the game about a new era, and to go out and deliver it is really pleasing," explained Buttler. "Credit to Joe Root, who really took it to them early. The way Brendon McCullum captains, he loads it at the front and tries to get you out, so we knew if we could stay in for 50 overs we could get a big score."
The score was 286 more than England managed last time they played New Zealand in a ODI, back in February's World Cup, when they managed a pathetic 123 and then watched as the Kiwis romped to victory in just 12.2 overs.
If that was the low point in England's recent ODI history, Tuesday was the high, although the early omens were ominous. New boy Jason Roy was dismissed with the first ball of the day but that brought Root to the crease and the Yorkshireman was soon into his stride. When Alex Hales went for 20, captain Eoin Morgan joined him in the middle and the pair put on 121 for the third wicket before the Irishman was out lbw for 50.
Root soon followed, as did Ben Stokes and Sam Billings, and it appeared England were on the brink of another all too familiar collapse as they lost four wickets for 31 runs, slipping from 171-2 to 202-6.
But England still had 20 overs left to bat and Buttler and Adil Rashid did not waste them as they shared a seventh-wicket stand of 177 in only 17.3 overs with the Lancashire keeper bludgeoning the Kiwi attack to all four corners of the ground as he made 129 in just 77 balls with five sixes and 13 fours.
Rashid contributed a quickfire 69 and his leg-break bowling then helped skittle out New Zealand for a dismal 198 with the Yorkshire spinner finishing with figures of 4 for 55. "They blew us off the park," admitted Kiwi captain Brendan McCullum. "It was a special performance from Root and Buttler. To post 400 in any game is outstanding."
Eoin Morgan's post-match interview was a mix of delight and surprise, given England's embarrassing performances in the World Cup where they exited the competition at the group stage. "You can look back and say what you want about the World Cup, but I'm looking forward," said Morgan. "For us to come out of the traps like that is outstanding. I'm as surprised as anybody given we have two or three new faces in the team, but they held themselves brilliantly and the senior players were outstanding."