England 498 for 4 (Buttler 162*, Malan 125, Salt 122, Livingstone 66*) beat Netherlands 266 (O’Dowd 55, Edwards 72*, Moeen 3-57) by 232 runs
Following Jonny Bairstow’s jaw-dropping example to win the second Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge on Tuesday, Buttler plundered his score off just 70 deliveries with no part of the VRA ground or its surrounds safe as he launched the ball into trees, onto the Pavillion roof, over the commentary tent and onto the neighbouring hockey fields.
A warm, fine day began brightly enough for the hosts, when Jason Roy fell to his cousin, Shane Snater, on the seventh ball he faced, bowled through the gate by a fuller delivery that caught the inside edge before rattling the stumps and England were 1 for 1.
Salt, playing his fourth ODI, scored his maiden international century with an assured knock, reaching 122 from just 93 balls. He signalled his intentions with a gorgeous cover drive to the boundary off Logan van Beek then launched him for six over midwicket.
He should have been out for 40 when he hit Bas de Leede straight to deep backward point, where Snater shelled the chance, and he rammed home the mistake by cracking de Leede for four over wide long-on two balls later.
Malan survived an lbw decision attempting a reverse-paddle off Pieter Seelaar on 25, his review showing that while the ball struck the front pad low and in line with middle stump, it was tracking past the top of leg.
Salt took the lead role, bringing up his second ODI fifty off 39 balls with a four off Seelaar fine of long-off and he powered to 71 with six off van Beek over cow corner.
Malan was somewhat becalmed after the powerplay but he raised the tempo by striking Aryan Dutt for four through point and Phillippe Boissevain for six down the ground. His subsequent six off Seelaar hit a tree over long-on and bounced back into the ground, unlike the one he struck in the ninth over that had to be fetched from the woods. He ended up sharing a 222-run stand with Salt, who finally fell top-edging van Beek to Boissevain at point.
No matter for England as Buttler arrived at the crease and proceeded to reduce the Netherlands attack to cannon fodder.
Buttler was virtually trading in boundaries alone as he reached a 27-ball fifty, including five sixes and two fours. Three of his maximums came within four balls from Seelaar, the first just clearing the rope after Vikramjit Singh had moved in from long-on followed by two more – increasing in distance – over the same area.
To make matters worse for Netherlands, Buttler struck the next ball down the ground only for it to pop out of the hands of Musa Ahmed. And, of course, his half-century came up from another six as he muscled a Snater slower ball over long-off.
Malan became only third English player behind Buttler and Heather Knight to score a century in each format when he dabbed a leg-side single off Boissevain. Malan’s innings ended when he eventually holed out to deep backward square leg off Seelaar, having notched up 125 off 109 balls and added 184 runs with Buttler, who contributed 139 of those.
Eoin Morgan then fell to a first-ball duck, lbw off Seelaar who managed to overturn his initial not-out decision and continue a lean run for Morgan, who has been troubled by injuries this year and managed just one international half-century in 18 months.
Livingstone saw off the hat-trick ball nurdling a single through midwicket and, as another renowned heavy hitter in the England line-up, he completed Netherlands’ demoralisation, pummelling 32 runs off the next over from Boissevain.
With the mystical 500-run mark still in England’s sights in the final over, Buttler took them past their world-best score with six off Snater’s third ball. But when Livingstone could only manage four off the penultimate delivery the well-oiled crowd groaned, realising it was now out of reach. Livingstone launched the final ball for six over deep midwicket, leaving them just two runs shy.
When cameras panned to masses of schoolchildren at hockey practice next door, it was somewhat reassuring that Netherlands were batting by that stage. That was before O’Dowd got in on the act and became the first player to smash something other than a record when his straight six off Adil Rashid torpedoed into the press box window.
O’Dowd was assertive in reaching a run-a-ball 55 but he fell charging at Reece Topley, who pinged the top of off stump. O’Dowd had helped steady the innings with an 80-run stand alongside Ahmed after Netherlands lost Singh in the third over.
And so it was that as Netherlands batters made a starts, England’s bowlers plucked them out, sharing the wickets. Edwards was another exception, compiling an unbeaten 72 off 56 balls.
Sam Curran made encouraging steps in his return from a back stress fractures, claiming two wickets from his nine overs. Livingstone, meanwhile, left the field twice during Netherlands’ reply suffering from some calf tightness and it fell to Malan to bowl the final over of the match – his first in ODIs. Malan secured his maiden wicket when he had last man out Boissevain caught behind by none other than Buttler.
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo