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England eye magical 500 after smashing new ODI record

Poms call up Curran and Overton for final two Australia ODIs

NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom, June 20, (AFP): England one-day captain Eoin Morgan said “the sky’s the limit” for his record-breaking side, with a total of 500 firmly in their sights after their rout of Australia.

Morgan’s men posted a new all-time ODI record of 481 for six at Trent Bridge en route to a 242-run thrashing of their arch-rivals to go an unbeatable 3-0 up in the five-match series.

Man-of-the-match Alex Hales top-scored with 147 on his Nottinghamshire home ground, just as he had done when making 171 in England’s 444 for three – the previous ODI record total – against Pakistan at Trent Bridge two years ago.

Opening batsman Jonny Bairstow made 139 on Tuesday, his fourth hundred in six ODIs that included a century in a shock loss to Scotland just before this series.

Meanwhile Morgan, who missed the second ODI in Cardiff on Sunday with a back spasm, smashed England’s fastest fifty at this level, off just 21 balls.

“I think (we’re) definitely very close (to 500),” said Morgan.

“In the position we found ourselves today, with six overs to go, we’d have never imagined – certainly after that game against Pakistan – that we’d come close, pass, maybe stare down the barrel of scoring 500.”

“The sky’s the limit with these guys,” Morgan added after England, the 2019 World Cup hosts, cemented their place at the top of the ODI rankings in style.

England might well have broken the 500-barrier had they not lost both Hales and Morgan, who put on 124 for the fourth wicket, off successive balls in the 48th over.

“When ‘Morgs’ came out, he said ‘If we’re ever going to (get 500), now’s the time’ – but we didn’t quite get there,” Hales told Sky Sports.

Former England captain Michael Atherton, commentating for Sky, labelled the match a “perfect storm” in that a talented England batting line-up were able to make the most of a good pitch on a ground with relatively short boundaries, while facing an inexperienced attack.

World champions Australia were without their injured Ashes-winning fast-bowling trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

For Australia captain Tim Paine, the hurt was even worse than the blow to the face he suffered while keeping wicket in Cardiff.

“It’s tough. I thought I had some headaches in Cardiff after 25 overs when I hit my head, but I had a few more out there today to be honest,” he said after Australia’s 14th defeat in 16 completed ODIs.

Meanwhile, England have added pace bowlers Sam Curran and Craig Overton to their squad as they go in search of an unprecedented 5-0 one-day international series whitewash of arch-rivals Australia, it was announced Wednesday.

But with pace-bowling all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes missing the series through injury, England have decided to bolster their attack ahead of two ODIs in four days.

Uncapped Surrey left-armer seamer Curran will now join his brother Tom in an England squad for the first time – having been named alongside him on Tuesday in the 14-man party chosen for the upcoming Twenty20s against Australia and India. Somerset’s Overton has also yet to make his ODI debut.

 

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