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England post world record 444/3 against Pakistan, Alex Hales hits 171


Alex Hales hammered his highest individual ODI score 171 off 122 balls as England created a world record by scoring 444 for the loss of three wickets in the third ODI against Pakistan on Tuesday. Winning the toss, an unchanged English side elected to bat first against Pakistan at Nottingham to register a series-clinching win. England broke the previous record of Sri Lanka which scored 443/9 against Netherlands, way back in 2006.

After losing Jason Roy early, Hales and Joe Root (85) put up record 248 runs for the second wicket. After Hales' departure in the 37th over Root followed him shortly. But skipper Eoin Morgan (57*) and Jos Buttler (90*) together smashed 161 runs to take England to 444 runs. It was also the highest ODI total in a match between two Test nations, topping South Africa's 439 for two against the West Indies at Johannesburg last year.

Centurion Hales' explosive innings comprised 22 boundaries and 4 massive sixes as he amassed runs at the strike rate of 140. Morgan and Buttler aggregated runs at a strike rate of 211 and 176.5 respectively. Batting in front of his Nottinghamshire home crowd, Hales made an England ODI record 171. Buttler followed up with the quickest-ever England ODI fifty, off just 22 balls, on his way to an unbeaten 90 off 51 balls featuring seven fours and seven sixes.

Left-arm-pacer Wahab Riaz was the most expensive of the Pakistani bowlers as he leaked 110 runs from his quota of 10 overs as every host bowler went for runs. An unlucky Riaz twice took 'wickets' with no-balls. That was the second-most expensive return in an ODI, behind Australian Mick Lewis's none for 113 against South Africa at Johannesburg in 2006. Pakistan now need 445 runs to win the match and some sort of miracle is required from the guests to chase the mammoth total.

England, whose 50-over cricket has improved markedly since their dismal first-round exit from last year's World Cup, have so far dominated a Pakistan side who are a lowly ninth in the one-day international rankings. This innings would boost the morale of the young English side which is getting better in the ODIs with every match.

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