England exorcise World Cup ghosts with scintillating win
England 408-9 (Buttler 129) beat
New Zealand 198 (Taylor 57) by 210 runs
First One-Day International, Birmingham
Jos Buttler and Joe Root scored England’s second and fourth fastest One-Day International centuries to help their team demolish New Zealand by 210 runs in Birmingham.
New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first on a beautiful batting strip against a new-look England side.
New Zealand had a dream start as Trent Boult (4-55) removed Jason Roy (0) off the very first ball, a full delivery carved straight to backward point.
Alex Hales (20) got the innings going with two powerful strokes for fours in the second over. Joe Root, (104) promoted to number three, hit Boult for two more fours the next over.
The batsmen raced away to their 50-run partnership off just 43 balls. But, Boult got Hales with a short ball that was top edged to deep backward square leg.
However Root continued to show his fine form with couple more fours off Boult’s fifth over taking England to 68 for two after the first 10.
Eoin Morgan (50), who had found some form in the Indian Premier League, joined in the action with a massive six off Nathan McCullum (0-66) after the power-play.
Root brought up his half-century in just 41 balls with a four off a thick edge that went between the wicket-keeper and a wide first slip, Mitchell McClenaghan (2-93) the unlucky bowler.
McCullum went for 16 runs in the 16th over as Root hit a six and four, the latter a tough chance that was dropped at long-on.
Morgan brought up his own half-century in 45 balls in the 22nd over even as Root hammered a six off Grant Elliott (2-57) to take England to 166 for two after just 22 overs.
However, Morgan fell against the run of play, trapped lbw, a decision he reviewed unsuccessfully.
Root brought up his century the next over off just 71 balls, then England’s third fastest century.
However, Boult brought back into the attack got Root’s wicket as the England vice-captain charged down the track only to edge a full delivery to the keeper.
A few overs later Boult cleaned up Ben Stokes (10) who dragged one onto his stumps. The next over debutant Sam Billings (3) was trapped lbw by the debutant from New Zealand, Mitchell Santner (1-64).
The lbw initially not given was reviewed by New Zealand successfully. England were in a spot of bother at 202 for six after 30 overs, an excellent start totally undone.
The turnaround came when Buttler (129) and Adil Rashid (69), making an international comeback after seven years, added a whopping 177 for the seventh wicket, a world record partnership, in just 105 balls.
While Rashid went at a strike rate of 138, Buttler went at 167. The duo took England from 232 for six after 35 overs to 288 for six after 40, scoring 56 runs in the batting power-play.
Santner went for 19 in the 38th over. Buttler brought up his half-century in just 42 balls but went berserk after that bringing up his century in just 66 balls, England’s second fastest ODI century, the fastest also scored by him, in 61 balls.
Buttler and Rashid fell in the penultimate and final overs but thanks to them, England piled on 120 runs in the last 10 overs propelling them to 408 for nine in 50 overs - the first time England crossed 400 in an ODI.
In reply, Brendon McCullum (10) started off with two fours off Steven Finn (4-35) but was bowled by the last ball of the first over.
Kane Williamson (45) and Martin Guptill (22) consolidated for a while taking New Zealand to 50 for one after just 6.1 overs.
However Finn removed Guptill who nicked one to the wicket-keeper. New Zealand were delivered a big blow when Williamson tried to slog sweep a turning delivery and only managed to get a top edge off Rashid (4-55) holing out to long-off.
Ross Taylor (57), who was getting into the groove smacking Liam Plunkett (0-37) for a four and a six, took New Zealand to 133 for three after 20 overs, with the required run-rate creeping up further.
New Zealand were delivered another blow when Elliott (24) was run out trying to steal a second run to third man. From then on, they virtually capitulated collapsing from 159 for three to 198 all out.
Rashid, who was having a great day with the ball as well after putting up a record partnership with the bat, got two in two in his ninth over off successive balls.
He dismissed Santner (15) with a googly that was edged to slip and then Luke Ronchi (0) with a googly that went between bat and pad to hit off-stump.
Finn got Taylor the next over, trapped lbw, a close call that stayed with the on-field umpire even though Taylor reviewed.
Rashid got another wicket off the penultimate ball of his spell trapping Matt Henry (0) lbw.
New Zealand were all out for 198 in just 31.1 overs losing the game by 210 runs.
While Buttler was named as the man of the match, he was complemented well by Rashid who turned in a fine all-round performance with a half-century and four wickets.
England have taken a 1-0 lead in the five game series with the next game on Friday 12th June at The Oval, London.
© Cricket World 2015