Buttler and Root inspire 408 total

Published: Tuesday 9th June 2015 by The News Editor

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England marked their proposed new era of one-day international cricket with a national record total of 408 for nine after exemplary centuries from Jos Buttler and Joe Root.

A wonderful Edgbaston batting surface for this Royal London Series opener meant the first 400-plus total in England’s 50-over history was not entirely safe against New Zealand.

But as they kickstart a fresh approach under Eoin Morgan, after their miserable World Cup winter – thanks to Root (104) and then Buttler (129), in a world record seventh-wicket stand with Adil Rashid – they could be confident of pushing the limits of opponents who reached the final of that global tournament.

Root’s 71-ball hundred was, for an hour or so, England’s third-quickest – until Buttler, already the scorer of their fastest, made it a one-two with his latest century off 66.

England’s progress with their new spirit of adventure was sporadic but undeniably effective in Root and Morgan’s third-wicket stand of 121 and then, after a mid-innings blip, Buttler and Rashid’s 177.

After being put in, the hosts overcame the loss of Jason Roy to the first ball of the match, his maiden ODI innings lasting the minimum when he speared a drive at Trent Boult (four for 55) to point.

Root and Alex Hales shared a quickfire 50 stand until the opener mis-pulled Boult high to short fine-leg.

Brendon McCullum’s attempt to unsettle his Indian Premier League pal Morgan (50) with an overloaded off-side field bore no fruit, and the Irishman was soon matching Root shot for shot.

That was no mean feat, with the Yorkshireman in brilliant form.

There was barely a false shot – the exception his edge between wicketkeeper and slip off Mitchell McClenaghan to bring up his 50 with his seventh four.

Having escaped just one half-chance on 61 – at wide long-on off when Ross Taylor could not cling on diving one-handed to his right – Root completed his fifth ODI century.

But McClenaghan pinned Morgan in front, working to leg, and two overs later Root was gone too as he edged behind trying to stay on the attack against the returning Boult.

Ben Stokes’ departure defied conventional description, under-edging a pull down on to his leg and then stumps, and then Sam Billings was done in the air by his fellow debutant Mitchell Santner to go lbw.

But despite four wickets for 31 runs, Buttler and Rashid stuck to the plan with supreme skill and power.

Buttler was dropped on 90, by a diving Taylor again at deep midwicket off Matt Henry, and eventually mis-pulled McClenaghan, after hitting 13 fours and five sixes – but Rashid stayed till the last over for a career-best 69.

Published: Tuesday 9th June 2015 by The News Editor

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