England set up a victory against New Zealand by a record margin of 210 runs in the first ODI of the five-match series.
English players launched an attack right from the word go even after losing the wicket of Jason Roy in the very first ball of the match.
Joe Root came in at number three and started timing the ball from the sweetest part of the willow. It was very unlikely to see someone like Root ticking the scoreboard with a strike rate of above 100, but he placed his innings beautifully alongside England captain Eoin Morgan. Morgan and Root added 121 runs in just 15 overs. The English skipper also scored a quick half century.
England innings lost a bit of momentum when they lost wickets in quick succession. They were down to 202 for six at the end of 30 overs. Root was back in the pavilion as well.
It was then England wicket keeper batsman Jos Buttler and all-rounder Adil Rashid rebuilt the innings and added 177 runs in just 17 overs. Buttler was sending the ball out of the park relentlessly. Rashid too joined the party in no time. Buttler already held the record of the fastest ODI century by an English batsman when he achieved the feat in just 61 balls against Sri Lanka last year at Lord's Cricket Ground and this time he just added another feather to his cap by completing his century in just 66 balls.
England hit 14 sixes, which is again a record for them. The total of 408 also surpassed their previous best of 391 runs against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge. It was definitely going to be an up-hill task for the New Zealand batsmen as they had to chase the runs down with a required run rate of more than eight runs per over.
Skipper Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill came out to open the innings and the way they started their intentions were quite clear as they had no other alternative but to go after every delivery. McCullum hit English pacer Steven Finn for 11 runs from the first five balls. In the last ball of the first over, one would have thought that McCullum would calmly guide down to the third man or fine leg for a single as he already got 11 from the first five deliveries. But it was McCullum after all and he went after the last ball as well. However, Finn got the better of him and cleaned McCullum up.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor were the only two positives in the Kiwi's innings. But they too threw their wickets away when the Black Caps needed them to stay at the crease and add some more runs to the tally.
The required run rate kept on creeping up and the pressure was mounting on the New Zealand batsmen. Eventually, they were bundled for 198 runs in 31 overs. This victory also set the record of a win by the largest margin in ODI by England. Jos Buttler was adjudged the man of the match for his brilliant innings of 129 runs from hust 77 ball, which included 13 fours and five sixes.
New Zealand would look to square the series in the next match itself and would look forward to learn from their mistakes that they committed in the first ODI.