Top-ranked ODI team, England banked on Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow, as they wrap up the series by beating defending World Champions Australia by 242 runs at Trent Bridge with two matches still to play.
Meanwhile, England thrashed 21 sixes and 41 fours in becoming the first side to cross the 450-mark in ODI history. On doing that, they have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
The foundation of England’s total laid on high-class centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales. Moreover, Eoin Morgan also chipped in with the quickest half-century in their ODI history. For Bairstow, who is in magnificent form, it was his fourth ODI century in six innings.
The opening pair of Bairstow and Jason Roy combined perfectly here. With Roy murderous against the short ball, Bairstow in the sort of form that makes a length delivery an opportunity to drive or pull. They added 159 runs 19.3 overs; the 10th highest opening partnership against Australia.
Despite a couple of nervous moments, this was one-way traffic. Hales soon dispelled any thought that the wicket of Roy would ease Australia’s pain. He put all speculations to rest with a 62-ball century; the sixth-fastest in England’s history.
Hales showed tremendous power but also nice placement and shot selection. Nearly two-thirds of his runs were heaved through – or over – the leg side.
It looked, for a while, as if England might reach 500. In spite of losing Bairstow (139) and Jos Buttler, Morgan piled up a 21-ball century to add to Australia’s misery. The inexperienced bowling attack looked absolutely out of socks, as England posted 481 runs on the board.
Meanwhile, Australia’s reply started well enough with D’Arcy Short and Travis Head taking an early risk. But that target required endless risk-taking.
And after Short chipped one to mid-on, Head poked a return catch to Moeen Ali, and Shaun Marsh lofted to long-on. Aaron Finch, attempting to repeat a six clobbered over long-on, was deceived by one nicely held back by Adil Rashid.
By the time Liam Plunkett’s took a stunner to dismiss Glenn Maxwell, it was clear this was to be a rout. England’s spinners, a key point of difference between the sides in this series, finished with seven wickets between them.
As a result, Australia stumbled for a mere 239 runs, ensuring their heaviest loss in ODI history.
Brief Score: England 481 for 6 (Hales 147, Bairstow 139) beat Australia 239 (Rashid 4-47, Moeen 3-28) by 242 runs