Buttler bashes 129 in record breaking victory as England dominate New Zealand at Edgbaston
Jos Buttler smashed 129 off 77 balls and Steven Finn took four wickets for 35 runs as England cruised to a 210 run victory in the first One Day International.
Buttler hit the second fastest ODI Century in English history off 66 balls, with Joe Root becoming the fourth fastest to reach triple figures off 71 balls as the pair helped the Three Lions post 408-9, their highest ever One Day total.
Finn and Adil Rashid shone with the ball taking four wickets apiece as they dismantled the Kiwi’s batting line up.
Ross Taylor top scored with 57 runs for the tourists, but it proved in vain as England bowled New Zealand out for 198 and recorded their biggest ever margin of victory in ODI cricket.
Brendan McCullum won the toss for the visitors and decided to put the hosts’ into bat. Trent Boult enjoyed the perfect start with the ball, sending Jason Roy back to the pavilion after just one delivery, with Martin Guptill taking the catch at backward point.
Roy’s opening partner, Alex Hales, and Joe Root put on a quick 50 off 42 balls as the home side started to build a platform.
The partnership was swiftly ended the very next ball with Hales hooking to Matt Henry as Boult picked up his second wicket of the day.
Root was playing fluently and contributed 41 runs to help England to 68-2 at the 10 over mark, their highest home power-play score since 2011.
Going at just over a run a ball, Root and Skipper Eoin Morgan took the total past 100 on 15 overs, with Root reaching fifty. His innings was not without a bit of good fortune, as an edge flew between first slip and keeper to the boundary.
Morgan was trapped LBW by Mitchell McClenaghan just shy of the 24th over, for a well-played 50.
Two balls later, Root reached a remarkable century as he continued to be a thorn in the side of the New Zealand attack.
In the next over, Root was caught behind by Luke Ronchi for 104 as Boult bagged his third wicket of the day. With the score at 180-4, the Kiwis had dragged themselves back into the game.
After Ben Stokes and debutant Sam Billings were both removed for low scores, at 202-6, momentum looked like it was starting to swing.
With 20 overs remaining, Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid launched a counter attack.
The England wicket keeper, initially watchful, seemed to hit boundaries for fun as he reached 50 off 42 balls.
The half-century quickly became a ton six overs later, smashing his second fifty off just 14 balls, with the century coming off 66 balls in total.
His landmark was five balls short of the fastest 100, a record which he himself set against Sri Lanka in 2014.
Rashid, not wanting to be left out the spotlight, struck an important 50 off 37 balls as the score passed 350.
Buttler was finally caught for 129 in the 48th over, as the duo hit the highest ever seventh wicket partnership worth an incredible 177 runs.
England added 23 runs in the last two overs, and posted 408-9 off their 50 overs, which was the 10th highest total by any ODI side.
Chasing a monumental 409 runs to win, the tourists had a mixed start, as McCullum was clean bowled in the second over by Finn following consecutive boundaries.
Kane Williamson fell just short of 50, but Taylor offered a bit of resistance for the Kiwis hitting a half-century off 46 balls, but with the score at 158-3 coming up to the half-way point, the Black Caps were considerably behind the required rate.
After Mitchell Santner was caught by Jordan off the bowling of Rashid at the end of the 28th over, chaos ensued.
The scoreboard showed 185-5, and within the space of three more overs, New Zealand had been bowled out, adding just 13 more runs to their total.
England wrapped up victory with just under 19 overs remaining, with Finn and Rashid’s combined 8 wickets doing most of the damage, as the hosts completed a resounding 210 run victory.
Man of the match, Buttler, acknowledged how vital this manner of victory could prove to be.
To win by such a margin gives everyone a boost of confidence moving forward”.
The Three Lions go 1-0 up in the five match series, with the next encounter this Friday at the Kia Oval, with a 13:00 start time.
By Matthew Tilbury, Image Credit to England Cricket