Brendon McCullum's 250th ODI did not go to plan

England pounce in opening ODI

FIRST ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL: England 408-9 (Root 104, Buttler 129, Rashid 69; Boult 4-55) beat the BLACKCAPS (Williamson 45, Taylor 57; Finn 4-35, Rashid 4-55) by 210 runs at Edgbaston

England has taken an early 1-0 lead over the BLACKCAPS in the One-Day International series, claiming an emphatic, 210-run win in the opening match at Edgbaston, an England record.

Electric centuries from Joe Root (104) and Jos Buttler (129) helped England post their highest ever ODI total of 408-9. It was an innings full of records, Buttler’s century off 65 balls the second fastest in English history, and Root’s (71 balls) the fourth.

Joe Root scored the first of two key hundreds for England. Photos: Photosport

A world record seventh-wicket partnership worth 177 runs between Buttler and Adil Rashid (69) took the BLACKCAPS' task from daunting to near impossible — and, on this occasion, no miracles were forthcoming.

With a required run rate above eight from the outset, everything needed to go right for the visitors, who were keen to salute skipper Brendon McCullum as he chalked up his 250th ODI, only the fourth BLACKCAP to do so.

Brendon McCullum leads the team onto the field in his 250th ODI

He showed his usual intent, but, when he was bowled by Steven Finn for just 10, England knew they’d taken another key step towards victory.

Martin Guptill (22) continued to swing the willow, as did Kane Williamson (45), but with the pressure of the run rate ever present, the BLACKCAPS struggled to build a substantial partnership.

Ross Taylor did his best to engineer a fightback with a valiant 57, but the loss of wickets at all too regular intervals saw the BLACKCAPS fall well short. They were all out for 198.

Ross Taylor played positively

Legspinner Rashid was impressive, finishing with figures of 4-55, while Steven Finn finished on 4-35.  

Earlier, the breathless nature of the match was initiated from the very first ball. 

Boult, who was New Zealand’s leading wicket-taker at the ICC Cricket World Cup, dismissed Jason Roy with the opening ball of the game courtesy of a sharp catch at point from Guptill. England, though, would not retreat, Root and Eoin Morgan (50) blazing their side into a powerful position.

The England numbers three and four scored freely to put on a scorching 121 off 93 balls for the third wicket, before Morgan was eventually trapped lbw by Mitchell McClenaghan.

His exodus didn’t dent Root’s positive approach though, the 24-year-old bringing up his fifth ODI ton after just 23.1 overs. With England 171-3 at that point, a score of 400-plus was already well in the making.

Trent Boult would temporarily put the wobbles on England’s whirlwind start. A fine edge from Root saw the centurion depart, and he was quickly followed by Ben Stokes (10) who dragged on.

BLACKCAPS debutant Mitchell Santner picked up his maiden ODI wicket when he trapped fellow debutant Sam Billings (3) lbw: at 202-6, England had just lost 4-31.

One debutant takes out another!

Unfortunately, that momentum would not stick with the visitors.  

Buttler and Rashid took time to establish themselves at the crease before launching a spectacular second assault on the BLACKCAPS’ bowling attack. The duo punished everything thrown at them, with Buttler particularly devastating, striking five sixes and 13 fours.

Boult was the clear pick of the BLACKCAPS bowlers, finishing his 10 overs with a very respectable 4-55, while his regular new-ball foil Tim Southee was rested for this match.

It was an inspired England side at Edgbaston, and they take a deserved early lead in the series. The BLACKCAPS will be eager to come back hard in the second match which begins midnight Saturday NZT (Friday UK) at Kia Oval in Surrey.

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