England posted the highest total ever scored in a men’s one-day international of 481 for six as they thrashed world champions Australia by 242 runs at Trent Bridge on Tuesday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in a five-match series.
Alex Hales (147) and Jonny Bairstow (139) both hit hundreds as, for the second time in two years at Trent Bridge, England posted a new record ODI score following their 444 for three against Pakistan in 2016.
Bairstow’s hundred was his fourth in six ODIs while Hales’s century ended a run of low scores.
Meanwhile England captain Eoin Morgan became the country’s all-time leading run-scorer in this format during a 67 that featured a 21-ball fifty — England’s quickest in men’s ODIs.
This was Australia’s heaviest defeat at this level, in terms of runs, surpassing a 206-run loss to New Zealand in Adelaide in 1986.
By contrast, 2019 World Cup England were able to enjoy their biggest victory in the format as they topped their previous ODI best — 210-run success against New Zealand at Edgbaston in 2015.
Faced with a massive target of 482, Australia — missing star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, after the former captain and his deputy were both given year-long bans for their roles in March’s ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town — slumped to 239 all out with 13 overs remaining.
England spinners Adil Rashid (four for 47) and Moeen Ali (three for 28), with a mountain of runs behind them, shared seven wickets.
‘As good as it gets’
“To operate at that level throughout the whole game was as close to a complete performance as we’ve ever got to,” said Morgan at the presentation ceremony.
Hales, the man-of-the-match on his Nottinghamshire home ground, after making 171 for England against Pakistan at Trent Bridge two years ago, added: “That’s as good as it gets, both personally and from a team perspective”
But for a depleted Australia this was a chastening eighth loss in nine matches at this level against England, the world’s top-ranked ODI side.
“That was extraordinary, some of the best striking I’ve seen, to be honest, so you’ve got to take your hat off to the England boys,” said Australia captain Tim Paine. “That’s as hard a day’s cricket as I’ve had in 16 or 17 years.”
Jason Roy, who made 120 in England’s 38-run win in the second ODI in Cardiff on Sunday, could have had back-to-back hundreds but instead ran himself out on 82.
England might even have scored 500 had not Hales and Morgan — returning after being ruled out in Cardiff with a back spasm — been dismissed off successive balls.
Paine used eight bowlers before the 25th over, having sent England into bat.
But an attack missing injured Ashes-winning fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, struggled for line and length in overcast conditions on a ground favouring swing bowling, with medium-pacer Andrew Tye’s nine wicketless overs costing 100 runs.
Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar thought he had Bairstow lbw for 27 when he missed a sweep but the batsman’s review showed the ball, surprisingly, missing leg stump.
Bairstow, on 30, skyed a drive off Tye but Marcus Stoinis failed to hold an extremely tough chance as he ran back from mid-on.
Australia, however, were gifted a wicket when Roy ran himself out going for a needless second run.
It was off Australia’s eighth bowler, left-arm wrist spinner D’Arcy Short, that Bairstow hit a huge six over deep midwicket to reach a 69-ball hundred including 11 fours and four sixes.
Bairstow eventually hammered Agar to Richardson at deep midwicket.
Hales’s 92-ball blazing innings, featuring 16 fours and five sixes, ended when he was caught in the deep off Jhye Richardson.
On the next ball Morgan, whose tally of 5,443 ODI runs for England in 180 match took him past Ian Bell’s 5416 in 161 — also holed out.