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Jos Buttler unleashes chaos against the Netherlands as England breaks the ODI record | Cricket




It was as if a popcorn machine had exploded: hot, sweet, buttery kernels flew back and forth to the delight of onlookers, as the desperate owners pressed buttons at random and wanted it to stop. England’s highest one-day international total, a world record score of 498 for four, destroyed a wilting Dutch attack as Jos Buttler, Phil Salt, Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone invaded the God Damn Amsterdam.

In a turn so crammed with superlatives it was hard to know when best to time a quick ankle scratch, let alone run off to buy a drink, England threw 26 sixes another record in a three-and-one-hour blitz with short limits. Blink and you’d miss Salt en route to his first hundred in an England shirt or Malan building a carefully constructed barrel, or Livingstone who entered the arena like a coiled spring and finished with England’s fastest one-day fifty, on 17 balls.

But the most eye-opener of all was Buttler, whose IPL warm-up had earned him 46 sixes and both the Most Valuable Player and Leading Run Scorer awards. It was safe to say he had an eye on Amstelveen.

Every time you manage to play like this and play like this as a team is a great day out, Buttler said, softly spoken as always. This is the most fun environment I’ve ever played in. It was great to be back, on a regular tour and not have to worry about bubbles.

England’s previous highest score was 481 against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2018, when Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow came up with hundreds, with Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan joining in generously. Hales and Bairstow were out of the running for this tour for a variety of reasons, and neither Jason Roy, bowled by his cousin Shane Snater for one in the second over of the day, nor Morgan, lbw for a golden duck who scored 407 for four , will take a lot of personal pleasure from their scorecard submissions.

Buttler broke England’s record with a whip into the ground for six in the last over of the innings, before Livingstone rounded things off with a four and six over midwicket. It was such a day. They hadn’t quite made the 500 yet, but they had broken their own record, the highest women’s ODI record of 491 and Surrey’s domestic 50-over record of 496. The shocked Dutch players cheered England; they had been good and real tango. Worse, they had won the toss and decided to go bowling.

Salt had been the ignition, hitting the ground and pulling eagerly, reaching 50 with a four over halfway through, his second ODI fifty in only his fourth game. He rushed on, reaching his century with a quick single, leaping in the air, taking off his helmet and hugging Malan tightly. It felt like every ball was being aimed exactly as planned, but three overs later he was out, trying to cut but only managing to beat Logan van Beek from above.

Dawid Malan on his way to a century for England against the Netherlands.
Dawid Malan’s century makes him only the third player to score a hundred for England in all three international formats. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Out came Buttler, with 20 overs left his very favorite type of arithmetic. After 16 balls he had reached a watchful 17 as Malan floated on the rim with 99. By the time Buttler had gotten another 44 balls, he’d caught up with Malan from 114 to 113 in a game mostly made up of fielders watching rockets whistle over their balls. goes to the green undergrowth that surrounded the ground. The guestimate is that Buttler lost nine cricket balls alone, which amounted to over 1,000.

It was superhero stuff, though he was dropped at 37 on a long flight before his fourth six on a Pieter Seelar over. The next over Malan nipped to his first ODI hundred for England, joining Heather Knight and Buttler himself in the pantheon of England players with centuries in all three formats.

By now Buttler saw the ball as a huge Edam. Two scoops of successive deliveries from Bas de Leede, six across the maze of white catering tents. Six more in the trees. His hundred came from 47 balls, making it the second fastest ODI century by an Englishman. The fastest? Forty-six balls by Buttler himself.

Then, when Livingstone arrived and surrounded the first full-over he saw for four sixes and two fours, a woman in a flowing orange kaftan and a generously filled cigarette asked, are they as good at bowling as they are at batting? The answer was almost but not quite.

The Netherlands put in an unenviable task, reaching 50 in 58 balls, but that already put them behind the required run rate: 7.98 at the start of the innings but ready to jump out of the blocks. Reece Topley dismissed the sparkly Max ODowd, after judging; Sam Curran, out for months with a stress fracture, was back with nine overs from left arm skidders and two wickets, while Moeen Ali took three for 57.

By now, some of the more than 6,000 people gathered at the four temporary stands had retreated to the shade. Others joined the long queues for beer, while small cricket matches broke out in some places. The blinds sang along with the DJs who were crowd pullers.

It was England’s first ODI for 11 months. What can they do when they are properly warmed up?




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