Joe Root scored a sublime 104 © Getty Images
Joe Root scored a sublime 104 © Getty Images

Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, and Adil Rashid all combined to propel England to a sensational total against New Zealand in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Tuesday. England played the most un-England-like cricket they have played this year, showing excellent attacking instincts even in the face of some resurgent bowling by Trent Boult. Live Blog: England vs New Zealand, 1st ODI at Edgbaston

England got off to the worst possible start by losing Jason Roy off the first ball of the match, driving one right to Martin Guptill off Boult. If New Zealand thought they were in control though, Root and Alex Hales soon turned things around. Both men exuded tremendous positivity, and blunted the potent Matt Henry and Nathan McCullum, bowling first-change. Live Scorecard: England vs New Zealand, 1st ODI at Edgbaston

Hales was soon out for a run-a-ball 20, top-edging Boult to Henry. Eoin Morgan came in at No. 4 and continued with the tempo. Morgan and Root kept the runs coming in breakneck speed, as Brendon McCullum was forced to forgo some of his aggression in favour of a more traditional approach to try and keep the runs down.

That is when England suffered the inevitable breakdown. After adding 121 in hardly any time, Morgan was given out LBW off Mitchell McClenaghan. The English skipper chose to take the review, but the replays suggested that the umpire was correct. His 50 came off 46 balls, and was the beginning of New Zealand’s resurgence.

Root continued to enhance his growing reputation of being among the finest batsmen in the modern game. Though he batted at a strike rate well in excess of 100, he hardly ever looked violent or unattractive. Instead, his drives were flowing, his cuts were off the middle, and when he chose to attack the off-spin of Nathan McCullum, he hit cleanly with the turn. However, his knock came to an end in uncharacteristic fashion, edging Boult behind to Luke Ronchi playing a bit of a wild swipe.

Ben Stokes was soon bowled off the bottom edge, trying to pull Boult. Debutant Sam Billings was out LBW to fellow debutant Mitchell Santner a few runs later. From 171 for two, England had crashed to 202 for six. It seemed sanity had been restored, and England would get to only a middling score after all.

Buttler and Rashid, however, had other ideas. The duo played with the kind of abandon one does not expect from England. The mixture of Buttler’s usual free-flowing strokeplay, and Rashid’s single-minded positivity combined in overwhelming success for England. The pair absolutely massacred the Black Caps, amassing 177 runs off a mere 109 deliveries. Buttler scored the second fastest ODI century by an Englishman, narrowly missing out on his own record. He was finally caught by Henry off McClenaghan for 129.

Rashid played an excellent hand as well, getting his maiden ODI fifty in his seventh match. Chris Jordan and Rashid were out in the final over, but Liam Plunkett hit back-to-back sixes as England got their highest score in ODIs and also crossed the magical 400.

Brief scores:

England 408 for 9 in 50 overs (Joe Root 104, Eoin Morgan 50, Jos Buttler 129, Adil Rashid 69; Trent Boult 4 for 55) vs New Zealand.

Full Scorecard

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)