(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –England broke their own world record as they smashed a stunning 481-6 against Australia in the third ODI at Trent Bridge.
Jonny Bairstow (139 off 92 balls) cracked his fourth ton in six one-day internationals and Alex Hales (147 off 92) his first since March 2017 as England bested the 443-3 they amassed against Pakistan at the same venue in 2016 – Hales taking them past their previous best with a six off Jhye Richardson in the 46th over.
Australia, who elected to bowl, had no answer to England’s brutal batting as the hosts passed 350 for the 11th time since their dismal showing at the 2015 World Cup and 400 for the third time, with Jason Roy contributing 82 from 61 balls and fit-again skipper Eoin Morgan hitting 67 from just 30.
Morgan overtook Ian Bell as England’s highest run scorer in ODI cricket when he passed 41 and then completed his nation’s quickest fifty in the format, from just 21 deliveries, during a staggering display of hitting.
Morgan’s side blazed 21 sixes and 41 fours in total as they set Tim Paine’s side – who must win this match to keep the series alive having gone down at The Oval and Cardiff in the first two matches – a daunting target.
Roy looked set for back-to-back tons following his 120 at Sophia Gardens on Saturday, but was run out by D’Arcy Short attempting a second run having put on 159 with fellow opener Bairstow in under 20 overs.
That dismissal did not stem the carnage, though, with Hales – on his home ground and where he blitzed 171 against Pakistan two summers ago – and Bairstow slamming 151 for the second wicket before Bairstow was caught in the deep off Ashton Agar two runs shy of his ODI best 141, which he struck against Windies at Southampton in 2017.
Hales went on to seal his century from 62 balls, beating Bairstow’s 69-ball effort, and shared a stand of 124 with Morgan, who showed no effects of the back spasm that forced him out of Saturday’s fixture in south Wales.
Hales and Morgan were caught off successive Richardson deliveries in the 48th over – Richardson also accounted for Jos Buttler (11) earlier on after he had been set in ahead of Morgan with England 310-2 in the 35th over, while Moeen Ali (11) was run from the penultimate ball.
(Courtesy Sky Sports)