Jason Roy and Alex Hales’s record-breaking double-century opening stand left stunned England captain Eoin Morgan to reflect on an “absolutely remarkable” spectacle at Edgbaston.
Hales (133no) and Roy (112no) each produced career-bests, with their maiden one-day international hundreds on home soil, as England trounced Sri Lanka with 15.5 overs to spare in the second Royal London Series match. England are therefore 1-0 up with three to play, and have already sealed the inaugural cross-format Super Series.
Judging by the second successive full-house in this series, following the dramatic tie at Trent Bridge on Tuesday, that is not an especially pressing issue in any case.
As if just to make sure, though, Hales and Roy served up a crowd-pleasing conclusion to a mismatch in which England did the most important work by restricting Sri Lanka to 254 for seven on a belter of a pitch.
The home openers then took rich advantage, surging past England’s highest first-wicket stand of 200 and then – before their work was complete – also putting in the shade Andrew Strauss’s partnership of 250 alongside Jonathan Trott against Bangladesh at this same venue six years ago.
Morgan was a hugely appreciative spectator as England won by 10 wickets for the sixth time in their history, and prevailed – by any margin – for the first time in their last five ODIs.
“I think the chase was absolutely remarkable,” he said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that, where we were so in control without being reckless. The two boys were outstanding, very imposing.”
England’s openers hit 10 sixes and 17 fours between them. Roy was modest in his self-assessment afterwards, but admitted he would be tuning into the highlights later – if only to check out his celebration.
“We fed of each other quite well,” he said.
As for his reaction after moving to three figures, he added: “A lot of hard work goes into batting, and a lot of emotions.
“So once those runs came to me, it all came out.”