The key numbers behind England's record-breaking ODI innings against Netherlands
AMSTELVEEN – The moment the Dutch probably realised things were turning against them in this opening one-day international at Amstelveen came in the 40th over of England’s world-record innings.
Jos Buttler, on 73 from 39 balls at the time, smashed Bas de Leede onto the top of the indoor cricket centre here in Amstelveen, prompting a lengthy stoppage in play as a member of the groundstaff climbed a ladder onto the roof to retrieve the ball.
People searching for stray balls – which included the bewildered Netherlands fielders on more than one occasion – became a theme as England smashed an ODI record 26 sixes.
This was such a mismatch, the Netherlands eventually losing by 232 runs, that the largely-English crowd chanted “boring, boring England” when Liam Livingstone hit the penultimate ball of the innings for four – costing his side the chance to score 500.
He hit the final one for six anyway to take the mammoth total to 498 for four – the highest in any one-day match at any level.
Buttler bludgeoned 14 of England’s sixes during an electrifying exhibition of power hitting that saw him finish unbeaten on 162 from just 70 deliveries. And he believes it won’t be long before England hit 500, saying: “We’ll keep trying. We keep trying to push the boundaries, take the game forward and take the game on.
“It’s a tough thing to try and achieve I think. You’re going to have to play on a belting wicket on a small ground but I think just the biggest thing irrelevant of the score is the mentality we’re showing as a team.
“We’ll keep trying to better that and keep trying to be aggressive and brave when we play. And we know that stands us in good stead.”
Buttler, just back from an Indian Premier League campaign when he struck four centuries, added: “This is the most fun environment I’ve ever played in and it’s a great team to be a part of. It’s great to be back and on a normal tour and being able to not worry about bubbles and we’ve had a fun few days.”
This was not only an expensive innings for the Dutch bowlers, none of whom went for under eight-an-over, but also their board, who were more than €1,000 out of pocket after Buttler’s brutality resulted in nine balls – RRP €130 each – being lost.
It meant the drop by Musa Ahmad at long off that gave Buttler a life on 37 was costly in every sense of the word.
With two matches still to go in this series, this could prove to be an expensive week for the Dutch board.
Buttler wasn’t the only one causing carnage in Amsterdam, with Phil Salt scoring his maiden international century, Dawid Malan becoming only the second Englishman to score hundreds in all three formats and Livingstone scoring England’s fastest ODI half-century, in 17 balls.
This was also the first time three players had scored centuries in a one-day innings for England.
Buttler, though, was on another level to everyone else, illustrated by the fact he overtook Malan on 113 despite giving his team-mate a 28-over headstart.
Malan’s century in 91 balls looked positively pedestrian in comparison to Buttler, whose 47-ball effort was his – and England’s – second-fastest in this format.
It says everything about how high England’s level is right now that Malan undoubtedly cost his team the chance of getting to 500 after using up 109 balls for his 125.
Livingstone did his best to assist Buttler in getting the team there, ending up with 66 from 22 deliveries as England plundered 164 off the final 10 overs of their innings.
Salt, who shared a stand of 22 with Malan for the second wicket after Jason Roy was dismissed for one in the second over, impressed early on with his 82-ball century, even if he was dropped on 40.
Captain Eoin Morgan will also rue being trapped lbw for a golden duck by Pieter Seelar the ball after Malan also perished to the left-arm spinner. But it didn’t really matter as England took just 26 balls to move from 350 to 450.
In the land that invented Total Football, this was a total annihilation by the world champions. Whatever the opposite of “the barest of margins” is, this was it.
The Netherlands are a team who had battled past the likes of Papua New Guinea, Canada and Hong Kong to reach this level and earn the right to play England in a three-match series.
But they just couldn’t live with them. Their chase of 499 was as futile an exercise as you’ll see in sport and they were staring into the abyss when they were reduced to 150 for four in the 30th over.
In the end, a run chase that limped into the 50th over and was interrupted by three separate streakers, was finally put out of its misery when Malan’s part-time spin prised out last man Phillipe Boissevain.
Matthew Mott, the Australian who was taking charge of his first match since being appointed England’s white-ball coach, couldn’t have asked for a better start.