Roy and Buttler leave Australia with record chase to square series
Cardiff, Jun 16 (AFP) Jason Roy returned to the scene of one of his greatest disappointments to score a century as England piled up 342 for eight against Australia in the second one-day international today.
Stand-in skipper Jos Buttler added a quickfire 91 not out.
World champions Australia, 1-0 down in this five-match series after a three-wicket loss at The Oval on Wednesday, were left needing to achieve a record chase if they were to draw level at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens.
The most they have ever made batting second to win an ODI is the 334 for eight they made against England at Sydney in 2011.
England, however, were set for a colossal total at 253 for four off 40 overs. But Australia, without their injured Ashes-wining pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, checked the run-rate.
It was just over a year ago that struggling Surrey opener Roy, 27, was dropped from the England side that suffered a comprehensive eight-wicket defeat in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy by eventual tournament winners Pakistan at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens.
Roy though regained his place in the England line-up and on Saturday he took advantage of a good pitch to score his fifth hundred in 60 ODIs.
It was also his first at this level since he made an England record 180 against world champions Australia in Melbourne in January.
Wicket-keeper Buttler, captaining 2019 World Cup hosts England after regular ODI skipper Eoin Morgan was ruled out shortly before the toss with a back spasm, followed up with a 70-ball knock that included eight fours and two extravagant ramped sixes into the River Taff End off successive deliveries from Jhye Richardson.
Roy and Jonny Bairstow (42) got England off to a brisk start as Australia failed to gain the swing captain Tim Paine had hoped for when he won the toss in overcast conditions before the latter was caught behind off Kane Richardson.
The unrelated Jhye Richardson, playing in place of the injured Billy Stanlake, bowled Alex Hales (26) with a quicker delivery that cut back in. But Roy, completed a 52-ball fifty before launching Marcus Stoinis into the River Taff with a superb straight six.
The first rain break came when Roy was on 66 not out. But soon after play resumed, Roy carried on from where he had left off by pulling Andrew Tye for six. Come the second rain break, Roy had moved on to 91 not out.
He kept his concentration, and soon after play re-started Roy pushed left-arm spinner Ashton Agar for two past point to complete a 97-ball century including nine fours and two sixes.
Roy was dismissed during an eventful 36th over.
Wicket-keeper Paine was struck a nasty blow in the face when a legside wide from Tye bounced unexpectedly high just in front of his gloves.
Two deliveries later, Roy drove Tye for a majestic four through the covers. But next ball he was out when Tye took the edge and Paine held a superb one-handed catch as he dived to his left