Jos Buttler urges England to strive for better and break 500-run barrier


Jos Buttler wants England to keep striving to get better and push through the 500-run barrier in one-day internationals after their world record 498 for four against the Netherlands.

Buttler gave an exhibition in boundary hitting, thumping 14 of England’s record 26 sixes, in his unbeaten 162 off just 70 balls as Eoin Morgan’s side set a new benchmark in ODI and List A cricket.

On a baking hot day in Amstelveen, there were ironic cheers of “boring, boring England” from a sizeable travelling contingent that made up the bulk of the crowd of around 6,000 supporters.

But after a 232-run win to go 1-0 up in the three-match series in Matthew Mott’s first game since becoming white-ball head coach, Buttler says England will endeavour to continue pushing the envelope.

“We’ll keep trying but it’s a tough thing to try and achieve,” he said. “We’ll have to play on a belting wicket at a small ground but the biggest thing, irrelevant of the score, is the mentality we show as a team.

“We keep trying to better that and keep trying to be aggressive and brave when we play. The same message is for the team is we keep trying to push the boundaries, take the game forward and take the game on.”

Buttler was shuffled up the order to number four following a 222-run partnership between Phil Salt and Dawid Malan, both of whom made centuries, and he carried on the sparkling form that led to him being this year’s Indian Premier League most valuable player and top run-scorer at the VRA Cricket Ground.

He missed out on breaking his own record for the fastest century by an England batter by just one ball, reaching three figures from 47 deliveries, but was not reflecting on what might have been.

“This is the most fun environment I’ve ever played in and it’s a great team to be a part of,” he said.

“It’s been great to be back and on a normal tour and being able to not worry about (Covid) bubbles and that kind of thing. We’ve had a good, fun few days and it’s nice to get out there as a group.”

This is the most fun environment I’ve ever played in and it’s a great team to be a part of

Jos Buttler

While Malan became just the second English male after Buttler to record centuries in all three formats, Salt reached three figures for the first time in internationals with a classy 122 from 93 balls.

It was just Salt’s fourth ODI appearance and Buttler was full of praise for his Lancashire team-mate after England recorded three centurions for the first time in the format.

“He looks just another one off the production line with white-ball batters in England,” Buttler said. “I’ve been really impressed watching him up close in the days leading into this.

Phil Salt hit his first ton for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA Archive)

“He’s struck the ball incredibly cleanly here, it puts the bowlers under a lot of pressure. He’s very fearless and in the Jason Roy mould at the top of the order. He’s got a great future.”

After Malan was out for 125, Livingstone added the coup de grace with the quickest fifty by an Englishman, eventually finishing on 66 not out from 22 balls.

“He’s got an incredible talent for walking in and being able to hit fifth or sixth gear straight away,” Buttler said of another Lancashire team-mate.

Moeen Ali was England’s most successful bowler (Steven Paston/PA)

(PA Archive)

“He’s good fun to watch, great to have on your team and, here, he showed what he’s showed over the last 12 to 18 months. It’s really exciting for English cricket.”

The Netherlands’ response represented something of an anti-climax and while they refused to meekly surrender, the hosts were all out for 266 in 49.4 overs to collapse to their heaviest defeat in ODI history in terms of runs.

Moeen Ali took three for 57 while there a brace of wickets apiece for David Willey, Reece Topley and Sam Curran, the left-arm trio who composed the entirety of England’s seam attack.

The series resumes at the same venue on Sunday.

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