Well, how do you follow that? The logical answer – if logic has anything to do with what happened in Amstelveen on Friday – is that England will aim to top 500. And on the back of a record-breaking display, headlined by Jos Buttler‘s berserker 162 off 70 balls, few would bet against them racking up a similar score in the event that they again bat first.
There was an element of Stick Cricket about the way Buttler dismantled the Dutch, sixes punched into the trees around the ground as if casually tapping away at a keyboard. If only office work was this fun.
England’s white-ball revolution is now so deeply seeded within the ranks of the domestic game that the two men who joined Buttler in reaching three figures were both doing so for the first time in ODIs. Dawid Malan has long been involved across formats, of course – and became only the second England men’s player to score hundreds in all three – but Phil Salt was making just his fourth appearance, and did a decent Jonny-Bairstow-impression at the top of the order.
Liam Livingstone‘s 17-ball fifty, meanwhile, was his first in ODIs, as well as another England record. Those involved in the Test squad – including Bairstow, Joe Root and the captain, Ben Stokes – won’t be worrying about their places in the pecking order yet, but it serves as a reminder of the depth available to England in white-ball cricket. As did another record total in the Blast later on Friday.
To be fair to Netherlands, aside from a couple of dropped catches that might have stalled England’s rampage, they did not do too much wrong. Although the captain, Pieter Seelaar, may not opt to insert the visitors again. “Getting Jason Roy out was a good moment,” he laughed afterwards, recalling the early dismissal that left England 1 for 1 in the second over. All bar one of the 26 sixes hit – another record – cleared the boundary-riders comfortably.
In the face of such an unprecedented chase, Netherlands did well to bat through the overs – bar two balls – and make sure that the margin defeat was not similarly record-breaking.
Without some of their best players, who have opted to remain playing in county cricket, there was clearly a gulf in talent. But the core of this Netherlands side – players such as Seelaar, Max O’Dowd, Tom Cooper, Scott Edwards and Logan van Beek – have plenty of experience at bouncing back from adversity. “This will make us better cricketers in the future,” Seelaar added, and the Dutch will be hoping to prove that straight away.
(Last five completed matches, most recent first)
Netherlands: LLLLL England: WWWWW
In the spotlight
Despite the carnage visited upon the VRA ground by England’s batters, it was a Netherlands player who landed the KNVB with a repair bill for smashing a window pane to go with the estimated €1,000 hit for lost balls. Max O’Dowd gave a glimpse of his range during a run-a-ball 55, which included some Shane Watson-esque clumping down the ground.
The Auckland-born opener has become a banker at the top of the order, averaging 45.61 in ODIs. He is also the only man to have scored a T20I hundred for Netherlands – and might need to tap into that mindset if England are going to be challenged.
Centre stage. Name in lights. Place booked in the hall of fame. Jos Buttler will have harder day’s work, but there is no doubting he is currently in his pomp as a white-ball batter. Without sounding like a broken record, there were several he narrowly missed out on – a 47-ball hundred was one slower than his best; getting to 150 in 65 balls was also a single delivery behind AB de Villiers; with only 14 sixes, he was three short of the high-water mark in ODIs.
But if England continue to deploy him at No. 4, having cottoned on to his brilliance, then there may be further chances to go above and beyond.
Netherlands seem likely to stick with the spin-heavy strategy, but could bring in either Tim Pringle – the slow left-armer whose dad Chris played for New Zealand – or 19-year-old legspinner Shariz Ahmad. If keeps his spot, it will be an important test of character for Philippe Boissevain, who conceded 108 from his ten overs.
Netherlands (possible): 1 Vikramjit Singh, 2 Max O’Dowd, 3 Musa Ahmed, 4 Tom Cooper, 5 Bas de Leede, 6 Scott Edwards (wk), 7 Pieter Seelaar (capt), 8 Logan van Beek, 9 Shane Snater, 10 Aryan Dutt, 11 Philippe Boissevain/Tim Pringle.
Morgan is usually reluctant to rotate for the sake of it, and has previously suggested he will try to play all three games despite recent injury problems. Sam Curran, who bowled nine overs on Friday, is perhaps likeliest to get a rest, with Brydon Carse primed to come in and offer some right-arm variation to the seam-bowling department.
England (possible): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Phil Salt, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jos Buttler (wk), 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 David Willey, 9 Brydon Carse/Sam Curran, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Reece Topley
Pitch and conditions
As evidenced by England’s world-record 26 sixes, the Amstelveen boundaries are eminently clearable – although the same pitch will be used as for Friday’s run-fest, which might slow down some of the scoring. An even bigger crowd is expected, but they may also have to contend with some rain interrupting proceedings.
Stats and trivia
England’s 498 for 4 was a new high in ODIs; you may have heard. They are now responsible for the top three scores in the format. England also became only the second team to have three centurions in an innings after South Africa, who have done so twice.
Amstelveen has regained the record for the highest ODI total, which it previously held for Sri Lanka’s 443 for 9 against Netherlands in 2006, before England twice eclipsed that score at Trent Bridge.
During the course of the destruction, Buttler became the tenth Englishman to 4000 ODI runs.
Roy is set to play his 100th ODI. Cooper needs one more run for 1000 in ODIs.
Two Netherlands milestones are in sight for Seelaar. His 58th cap will draw him level with Peter Borren for most appearances; and he needs one more wicket to replace Mudassar Bukhari as Netherlands’ leading bowler in ODIs.
“You can’t drop the best batsman in the world twice in one over. Phil Salt was [also] dropped on 30 or 40. I’m not going to say it would be a completely different game, but you probably won’t be looking at 498.” Netherlands captain Pieter Seelaar rues paying a hefty price for dropped catches
“We don’t take days like this for granted at all. We earned the right to give it a nudge today, that doesn’t mean that on Sunday or Wednesday we’ll not be up against it. We’ve worked incredibly hard to earn days like today.” England’s Eoin Morgan is proud to have enjoyed a day like the first ODI