Roy and Buttler power England to ODI clean sweep over Netherlands

England tucked another win under the belt to complete a whitewash of the Netherlands as Jason Roy, with a century, and Jos Buttler hurly-burlied them along to an eight-wicket win with 119 balls to spare.

So quick was England’s hitting, so solid was the base right from the off, that it came as a surprise when Phil Salt was bowled by one that dipped in and clipped the top of leg stump, one short of a very fast half-century. When Dawid Malan followed two balls later, for a duck, bowled round his legs attempting a kind of leg-side heave, Paul van Meekeren sprinted across the outfield as if he had just nodded in a hat-trick.

But that was as far as the jeopardy went. As Buttler emerged at four, in the ever-adaptable England one‑day international batting order, away cycled the Netherlands’ chances on a sturdy cargo bike. A quick eye‑up of proceedings, then off Buttler went, a sweep, a drive, then, greedier, six into the stands and four in successive balls off Aryan Dutt.

Roy passed another fifty in 47 balls and survived a caught and bowled by Fred Klassen before shimmying a four straight down the ground.

But it was hot out there and Buttler had enough of being cooked. A Van Meekeren over was butchered: for a four, then three huge sixes, one square nearly clearing the stands, one very long and one a griddle-panning of a hooping no‑ball that bounced twice and landed off the strip. But the stand-in captain was sensitive enough not to whip Roy’s century from under his nose, Roy reaching three figures off 86 balls before Buttler finished things off with a six.

Despite Roy’s wonderful century, and the award for player of the match, it is Buttler who has stolen the series –with 248 runs in 134 balls. As Moeen Ali netted behind the ground and the crowd called for autographs, Buttler admitted he was in the form of his life.

“I’d have to say, yes. The IPL was incredibly special personally to have a tournament like that, I surprised myself and I really enjoyed that and I learned a lot about my batting. When you get to a place like that, being hungry to continue that, I look at someone like Joe Root who has been a great example to us in English cricket, who has scored runs after runs and wants to continue that.

And what he learned at the IPL was: “I think batting without ego. I had some good conversations with Sanga [Kumar Sangakkara] about that, understanding the process of getting in. Sometimes it might take five balls, sometimes it might take 20 balls, allowing that to happen, taking the pressure off.”

Whatever he did, it is working –as the Netherlands bowlers found out. In the three games, Buttler has tonked 19 sixes – and the rest of the England team, 11.

The big news as fans arrived at the ground was that Eoin Morgan, who had missed optional nets on Wednesday and been ruled out with a tightness of the groin, a recurrence of the injury he picked up with Middlesex earlier in the season. The England and Wales Cricket Board called his sidelining “precautionary” and he was replaced by Sam Curran; while the 31‑year‑old Gloucestershire left-arm seamer David Payne made his debut in place of Reece Topley.

Buttler won the toss and chose to field, to the disappointment of a crowd keen to see another world record under azalea blue skies, the summer trees in full leaf and leaning over the ground providing welcome shade.

England bowled well, though Payne’s first wicket in international cricket was postponed after Liam Livingstone lost a shot from Tom Cooper in direct sunlight.

There was a third half-century on the trot from Scott Edwards and fifties too from Max O’Dowd and Bas de Leede, but then the boundaries dried up and as desperation called the wickets fell – seven for 41. David Willey picked up four for 36 and Brydon Carse two and there was a debut wicket at last for Payne, who got the dangerous Edwards with a slower ball, slotting straight to Roy before Payne was mobbed by his teammates.

It has been a successful tour for England. Three wins, one world record, a maiden wicket. The players have enjoyed pottering around free of the constraints of the bubble, going out to have a coffee, exploring Amsterdam on the bikes. And they are keen to come back.