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Liam Livingstone emphasises importance of ‘entertainment’ in six-hitting rivalry with Jos Buttler

Liam Livingstone highlights the importance of ‘entertainment’ in his six-hitting rivalry with Jos Buttler – with England trying to take the battle to stratospheric heights in the third and final ODI against the Netherlands

  • Liam Livingstone and Jos Buttler added 91 from 32 balls against the Netherlands on Friday
  • The England batsmen helped set a world record of 498 for four
  • After that, Buttler claimed that Livingstone was the bigger batter of the two players
  • But Livingstone suggested Tuesday that Buttler hadn’t told the whole story

Liam Livingstone has talked about his six-strike rivalry with Jos Buttler as England try to take one-day at bats to stratospheric heights.

The pair added a whopping 91 from 32 balls last week in the first one-day international against the Netherlands and set a world record of 498 for four – with Buttler crushing 14 sixes and Livingstone six from just 22 balls.

After that, Buttler – who could lead England in Wednesday’s third ODI if Eoin Morgan doesn’t recover from a groin injury – claimed Livingstone was the bigger batter, but Livingstone claimed this didn’t tell the whole story.

Liam Livingstone has spoken out about his six-hitting rivalry with England teammate Jos Buttler

Liam Livingstone has spoken out about his six-hitting rivalry with England teammate Jos Buttler

The pair added a whopping 91 from 32 balls in the first ODI against the Netherlands

The pair added a whopping 91 from 32 balls in the first ODI against the Netherlands

POSSIBLE ENGLAND XI

1 Jason Roy, 2 Phil Salt, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jos Buttler (capt, wkt), 5 Liam Livingstone, 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Sam Curran, 8 David Willey, 9 Brydon Carse, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 David Payne.

“I’m not going to argue with that, but he wouldn’t be so modest one-on-one with me,” he said. “It’s actually quite fun. We play golf together and it’s really just a long distance game. It’s entertaining, isn’t it?

‘During the IPL I didn’t watch much cricket, but when Jos was batting I turned on the TV and that’s what we want to do: entertain people. Sure, one he hit recently was pretty big, but don’t tell him I said that.”

With the test team under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes starting to go hell for leather, six-hitting is all the rage in English cricket right now, and there are perhaps no better exponents in the world game than Buttler and Livingstone.

At the recent IPL, they were first and second in the six-hitting table of the tournament. But while Buttler’s score of 45 came out on top, Livingstone’s 34 arrived faster—one every seven balls, compared to Buttler’s one every 13. Livingstone also had the higher strike rate: an eye-watering 182 to Buttler’s 149.

Buttler hit 14 sixes as England set a new world record of 498 for four on Friday

Buttler hit 14 sixes as England set a new world record of 498 for four on Friday

One of the most notable features of Livingstone’s unbeaten 66 last Friday was that he was in the groove from the start. After a single from his first ball off Pieter Seelaar’s left arm spin, he clattered 32 into the next over from leg spinner Philippe Boissevain – four sixes and two fours.

“It’s something I’ve been trying to work on for the past few years, and it probably got me on this team,” he said. Had he managed to score two runs on any of his 15th or 16th deliveries from sailor Shane Snater, he would have broken AB de Villiers’ record for fastest ODI half-century of all time.

But Livingstone had no idea he was on the brink of history – nor that England were at 488 with two balls to go.

Livingstone hit six sixes from just 22 balls and Buttler claimed the first was the bigger batter

Livingstone hit six sixes from just 22 balls and Buttler claimed the first was the bigger batter

“I didn’t know we needed twelve,” he said. “At the end, we were basically trying to hit every ball for six.

“It wasn’t until the last ball went before six and we walked away, and I saw 498. You always think ‘where were the two runs we needed?’ We keep improving. Hopefully we’ll get there one day.’

Meanwhile, Morgan and fast bowler Reece Topley were the only two members of the 14-man squad to miss optional nets on Tuesday.

England will consider handing over a first cap on Wednesday to David Payne of Gloucestershire, one of five left-armed sailors on the tour.

Meanwhile, Captain Eoin Morgan was one of two team members missing optional nets

Meanwhile, Captain Eoin Morgan was one of two team members who missed optional nets

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