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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

On This Day: England batting lineup shocked Justin Langer to post highest ODI total

As many as 21 sixes were hit in the record-breaking innings. Andrew Tye was the worst-hit by the hailstorm of fours and sixes as he went for 100 runs in nine overs he bowled.

By: Sports Desk | June 19, 2020 4:30:01 pm
Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow scored centuries in the record-breaking total (Source: Reuters File)

On this day, in 2018, Eoin Morgan-led England side produced one of the most clinical performances against their nemesis, Australia. England bettered their previous record to post a total of 481/6 against Tim Paine’s touring side at Nottingham.

Paine’s decision to win the toss and electing to field first on a flat wicket did not work in Australia’s favour. Opener Jonny Bairstow started taking on the bowlers from the second over itself. Jason Roy joined him in the fifth over and things started to look tough for Australia bowlers as they failed to pick up wickets early with the new ball on a batting paradise.

Bairstow-Roy shared a 159-run partnership which was ended by a run out as Roy went for an unnecessary second run. Alex Hales walked out to bat in the 20th over but Australia’s nightmare was not over yet. It had only entered its second phase.  Soon enough, Hales got going as well. England breached the 200-run mark in the 24th over.

The wicketkeeper-batsman reached his century in style off with a maximum. He reached the milestone off just 69 deliveries. At one point it seemed like England were practicing with a bowling machine instead of bowlers and short boundaries did not do the visitors any favour. Hales started to accelerate even more after reaching his half-century from 38 deliveries. England breached the 300-run mark in the 34th over and were set for a gigantic total, many expected a first 500 total in ODI cricket.

Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar became the first bowler to take a wicket in the match. Bairstow got out trying to play the short ball over mid wicket but found the fielder. He departed after scoring 139 runs from 92 deliveries, missing out on a chance to post a double ton. Jos Buttler came in to bat ahead of skipper Morgan but got out after scoring 11 as Jhye Richardson breathed a sigh of relief.

Hales continued the assault a he got to his century from just 62 deliveries. Joined by Morgan in the middle, the fourth-wicket partnership frustrated Paine’s men. Morgan was even more brutal as he cleared the boundaries with ease. He reached his half-century off just 21 deliveries breaking the record for fastest fifty by an Englishman.

The record books needed revising as England went past the previous highest total of 444 in the 46th over. The 500-run mark was well within reach with batsmen firing from both ends but Richardson managed to get two wickets off two consecutive deliveries in the 48th over. Moeen Ali and Joe Root could not do more damage as England posted 481/6 on the board.

As many as 21 sixes were hit in the record-breaking innings. Andrew Tye was the worst-hit by the hailstorm of fours and sixes as he went for 100 runs in nine overs he bowled. Richardson was the highest wicket-taker with three wickets for 92 runs whereas Agar was the most economical as he went for seven runs per over in his 10 overs.

The second innings did not bring Australian fans any joy either. Only Travis Head and Marcus Stoinis looked like making an impact. A team without the services of banned David Warner and Steve Smith failed to put up a fight. Sending Aaron Finch down the order backfired as well. Australia bundled out for 239 in 37th over suffering their worst defeat by 242 runs.

The fairly new appointed head coach after the sandpaper gate, Justin Langer was shocked by the complete annihilation of the Australian bowling attack.

“It’s a shock. That is literally England at its best. It’s no fluke that they are No.1 in the world. I’ve never seen nothing like that. I was in Johannesburg when Australia got 400 and South Africa then got it, but that was just brutal,” said Langer after the match.

Since then, England are the only team to post a total in excess of 400. They scored 418/6 against West Indies in February 2019 on Caribbean soil.

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