Jos Buttler captained England in the absence of Eoin Morgan
Jason Roy’s unbeaten ton and another Jos Buttler masterclass helped England make light of Eoin Morgan’s injury-enforced absence to wrap up a 3-0 one-day international clean sweep of the Netherlands.
David Willey took four for 36 as the Netherlands were all out for 244 in 49.2 overs after stand-in captain Buttler won the toss, with Morgan withdrawing beforehand as a precaution due to a tight groin.
He was therefore denied the chance to end a sequence of back-to-back ducks, with his drought in form a subplot in this series, but he was hardly missed as Buttler and Roy led England to an eight-wicket win.
Phil Salt provided the initial impetus with some crisp strokes in his 49 off 30 balls and, although he and Dawid Malan were bowled in the same Paul van Meekeren over, there were no further alarms.
Roy was dropped on 50 and 75 before going on to his 10th ODI ton, finishing unbeaten on 101, while Buttler thrashed five sixes, one after a double bouncer from Van Meekeren, in his 86 not out from 64 deliveries in an unbroken 163-run partnership as England sealed a series whitewash with 19.5 overs to spare.
England’s bowlers largely stuck to their task as the Dutch imploded from 203 for three from 39.5 overs although David Payne was unfortunate to finish with just 9-1-38-1 on his international debut after replacing fellow left-armer Reece Topley, with Sam Curran restored to the XI in place of Morgan.
Willey made it three from three against Vikramjit Singh, who for the second time in two innings aimed a half-hearted pull which was pouched by Malan diving forward, while Payne should have been in the wickets after surprising Tom Cooper with a bumper.
With ample time to settle underneath a looping chance at midwicket, Liam Livingstone appeared to be distracted by the sun and abandoned the catch, with the ball bouncing safely a few feet away from him.
Livingstone atoned for his faux-pas with a sliding catch on the deep square-leg boundary to see off Cooper, who made an enterprising 33 off 37 balls before falling to the zippy Brydon Carse.
Max O’Dowd brought up a carefully-constructed half-century off 68 deliveries but perished off the next ball after feathering to Buttler off the leg-spin of Livingstone before Bas de Leede and Scott Edwards settled for watchful accumulation, with boundaries at a premium in the middle stages.
The gameplan to keep wickets in hand for the back end backfired as De Leede’s injudicious hook on 56 off Carse marked the start of a Dutch collapse in which they lost seven for 41 in 9.3 overs. Willey took three cheap wickets while Payne deservedly got in the act when Edwards clothed to mid-on for 64.
Roy cut and pulled with aplomb at the outset of England’s chase for back-to-back fours but it was Salt who put the foot down. An authoritative drive and heave sandwiched streakier efforts that could have found fielders’ hands but brought the opener four fours in an over from Logan van Beek.
He was dismissed one short of a third consecutive 50-plus score after having his leg-stump knocked back while, two balls later, Malan seemed to be out of position and was bowled round his legs.
At 85 for two at the end of the powerplay, though, England were still in the boxseat and Buttler twice clobbered Van Meekeren down the ground, if a little unconvincingly, for fours before thundering a first six off Aryan Dutt, who had moments earlier seen Roy put down behind the stumps after passing a fifty.
The returning Fred Klaasen induced a leading edge from Roy following a cutter but the left-armer spilled a return catch, with the England opener then slamming home another four – he made 15 in total – later in the over.
There was a doubt that Roy would get the chance to reach three figures as Buttler sent the crowd into raptures with some clean hitting off Van Meekeren, whose attempted back-of-the-hand slower ball bounced twice.
Buttler refused to take pity on the bowler and dispatched him into the stands before doing likewise to the free hit.
Roy’s three fours in an over off De Leede took him to three figures in his 101st ODI before Buttler ended things in scintillating fashion, hammering Tim Pringle over long-on to move alongside Salt as the series’ leading run-scorer with 248.