England keeper-batsman Sam Billings slammed a classy and an audacious century in the first ODI against Australia on Friday. The hundred by Sam Billings was his maiden in an ODI career that witnessed only 18 appearances until the first game. Despite his 110-ball 118, hosts fall short of 19 runs in pursuit of 295. However, Billings’ hundred has received praises from seasoned English seamer James Anderson.
Sam Billings arrived at the crease when England found themselves at 57-4, in a world of trouble. The home side lost their skipper Eoin Morgan and keeper-batsman Jos Buttler while opener Jonny Bairstow was struggling to get going. The 29-year old stitched a 113-run stand along with Bairstow and kept going even as the wickets kept tumbling around him. Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh plucked his scalp in the last ball of England’s innings.
James Anderson stated that Sam Billings looked world-class as he got to the pace of the pitch, taking his opportunity under pressure. Having made his debut in 2015, Billings only played 18 ODIs before the game against Australia in Manchester. While the Kent batsman shone in the ODI series against Ireland, it was only due to the absence of ace all-rounder Ben Stokes that Billings got a spot.
“As he got the pace of the pitch, he looked world-class. In a pressure situation, he really took his opportunity,” Anderson told BBC Sport.
“That’s all I can do. I don’t think however many runs I get, that I’ll keep that spot” : Sam Billings
Sam Billings stated that it is a knock that has been coming since a long while, innings that is enough to stake a claim for a permanent spot. However, the 29-year old understands that as soon as Ben Stokes returns, he has to step aside. The second ODI kickstarts on Sunday at the Old Trafford in Manchester where England will look to bounce back.
“I’ve threatened to get a score of substance for quite a while and it’s just nice to kick on and get a big score and stake a claim. That’s all I can do. I don’t think, however many runs I get, that I’ll keep that spot,” Billings said.