|Scorecard:||England v New Zealand|
|Player:||EJG Morgan, JE Root, JC Buttler, LRPL Taylor, ST Finn, AU Rashid|
|Event:||New Zealand in England 2015|
By Andy Jalil at Edgbaston
Records fall in England victory in first ODI
Birmingham Call it astonishing, amazing but without doubt it was Englands finest batting display in One-day Internationals. Never had England batsmen taken their side to such dizzying heights as setting their opponents such a massive target, after hitting 408 for nine in which Jos Buttler and Joe Root led the way with magnificent centuries. Records tumbled in their extraordinary effort and brought England victory by 210 runs, their biggest-ever ODI winning margin and their total was their highest in ODIs and the 12th highest by any team.
This was the sort of batting England would have wished for in their miserable World Cup performance. In their first completed ODI of the season (the game against Ireland a couple of weeks ago was rain-abandoned) they piled on the runs, beating their previous highest ODI total of 391 against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge in 2001. The England total was the highest scored by any team in this country.
Facing such a daunting task New Zealand batsmen had little answer in their chase. The only scores of note came from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor who hit 45 and 57 runs respectively and the only stand of some resistance was of 66 between Taylor and Grant Elliott as England bowlers Steve Finn and Adil Rashid, with four wickets each, cut through the batting line-up to dismiss them for 198 in just 31.1 overs.
With nothing much to show in their response to the England total or in their bowling which was made to look hapless, the story of the match was the England batting by the new-look side which seems able to conquer their perennial nemesis of one-day cricket. In a most entertaining batting display, the England innings contained two centuries and two half centuries. Buttler, in scoring 129 from just 77 balls passed his previous highest ODI score of 121 while Joe Root hit 104, his fifth ODI hundred from 78 balls.
Eoin Morgan brought up his 18th ODI fifty from 45 balls and Root followed that with a straight six to get into the nineties. England would have been relieved to see Morgan among the runs after having been completely out of form in the World Cup and indeed scoring just two fifties in his last 28 ODI innings. Their stand of 121 from 96 balls was broken with Morgan being trapped lbw.
Root went on to complete his hundred from 71 balls and promptly pulled Matt Henry for four for his last scoring shot before edging Boult behind the stumps. The two had departed within eleven balls. Boult took the last of his four wickets when he bowled Ben Stokes and the debutant Sam Billings provided the other debutant Mitchell Santner with his maiden international wicket.
But if New Zealand thought that the fall of the sixth wicket on 202 after 30 overs would set England back from the earlier onslaught, then Butler and Rashid had other ideas. Their rampage in putting on 177 from 109 balls was a world ODI record for the seventh wicket and it put England in a dominating position. Buttler, dropped on 90 had been in imperious form hitting 13 fours and five sixes in the second fastest England ODI hundred before chipping a catch to square leg.
Rashid, dropped on 43, reached his half century from only 37 balls and with his dismissal England lost two wickets on the total of 394 before Liam Plunkett hit two sixes in the last over to take the tally of sixes to 14, the most England have hit in an innings. England captain, Morgan said: Today has been an amazing performance, and the closer we can get to that in each game coming up the better well be for it. You can look back and say what you want about the World Cup, but Im looking forward and Im excited about the chance weve got for the guys to grow.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)