Cricket – ENG vs AUS: Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales launch England to new record ODI total


JUNE 20, 2018

Brief Scorecard: England 481 for 6 (Hales 147, Bairstow 139) beat Australia 239 (Rashid 4-47, Moeen 3-28) by 242 runs

Centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales powered England to a world record men’s ODI score of 481 for 6 against Australia at Trent Bridge which also included the fastest ODI fifty for them by Eoin Morgan.

On the same ground where England plundered the previous record – 444 for 3 against Pakistan in August 2016 in the most recent completed ODI on the ground – England thrashed 21 sixes and 41 fours in becoming the first side to reach 450 in ODI history. Only once in the history of List A cricket – when Surrey scored 496 for 4 against Gloucestershire at The Oval in 2007 – has any side scored more.

On the sort of pitch that most batsmen would like to whisk to Paris for the weekend – and most bowlers would like to never see again – England gorged and feasted on runs until they dripped down their chins. And while Australia tried everything – going round the wicket, bowling short, bowling full, even trying eight bowlers – none of it made much difference. This was competitive in the way that clay-pigeons are competitive.

It all meant Australia will have to set a host of records to avoid slipping to a series-defining defeat. Never before have they chased as many as 340 – their current record chase is 334 for 8, set against England in Sydney in 2011 – and only twice – in the 4011-match history of ODI cricket – have any sides managed to score 400 in the second innings. Never, in the history of List A cricket, has a team managed to score 440 in the second innings.

Bearing in mind Australia’s recent record – they have won only two of their previous 15 ODIs and have lost seven of the last eight against England – it is hard to be wildly optimistic.

An opening stand of 159 in 19.3 overs – the 10th highest opening partnership against Australia in ODI history – laid the platform for England’s total. Despite Billy Stanlake generating sharp pace – he was timed at 93mph in his first spell – and Jhye Richardson bowling a maiden in the opening Powerplay, Bairstow and Jason Roy were soon into their stride. Bairstow took three boundaries off Richardson’s first over, quickly showing it was the sort of surface on which no margin of error was available to bowlers.

There were a couple of nervous moments. Australia called for a review when they thought they detected an inside edge on one from Stanlake that nipped back at Roy (replays showed the ball brushed his trousers), while Bairstow was dropped on 30 by Marcus Stoinis running back from mid-off and reprieved on review having been given out leg before attempting to sweep Ashton Agar.

Those moments apart, this was one-way traffic. Bairstow, in the touch to put away length and back of a length deliveries, recorded his fourth century in his last six ODI innings and, with six centuries in 19 since he was recalled to the side less than a year ago, now has the highest batting average of any man to open in ODI cricket a minimum of 20 times. Roy, meanwhile, was murderous on anything short and pounded on anything even remotely overpitched.

And while Roy’s innings was ended by a combination of an ambitious attempt at a second run and D’Arcy Short’s excellent throw, that only brought Hales to the crease on his home ground. Quickly into his stride – at one stage he struck five fours in seven balls – Hales raced to his sixth ODI century in 62 balls (there have been only five quicker for England) and was especially powerful on the leg side. Just a day after he admitted he was the man likely to miss out once Ben Stokes returns, it made an eloquent case for his retention.

It looked, for a while, as if England might reach 500. Despite losing Bairstow, heaving down the throat of deep mid-wicket, and Jos Buttler, deceived by a slower ball, Eoin Morgan thrashed a 21-ball half-century. Having recovered from the back spasm that kept him out of the Cardiff match, Morgan not only recorded the quickest 50 in England’s ODI history but passed Ian Bell’s record to become England’s most prolific ODI run-scorer in the process.

With Morgan and Hales falling to successive deliveries from Richardson – rare moments of joy for a bowler in an afternoon full of pain – England were able to score a relatively modest 23 from the final three overs of the innings. The records – and the bowling figures – told the story though: this was carnage. Australia need a miracle to avoid slipping to their fifth ODI series defeat in succession.

Courtesy/Source: ESPNCricinfo