Reece Topley savored his moment in the sun after claiming England’s one-day bowling record figures in a 100-run thrashing of India.
After being beaten by 10 wickets at the Kia Oval on Tuesday, England needed victory to stay alive in the London Royal Series and Topley delivered one in style to deliver the decisive blow on Sunday.
Defending a modest 246 over the top, Surrey’s left wing took outstanding figures of six from 24 to wreck the Indian response.
Topley hit a consistently tough line and length, showing off his range as he hit early, middle and late innings to move current assistant coach Paul Collingwood into the history books.
The 28-year-old made his first international debut seven years ago but spent four years devastated by injury problems, including four separate career-threatening stress fractures.
“It means a lot, it makes it all worthwhile to be honest,” he said after sealing victory for his side with 11 overs to spare.
“It is everyone’s dream to play for England. I just want to put the shirt on as many times as I can and do my part. It is a privilege every time.
“It was an excellent performance by the team to bounce back from the loss the other day and I’m happy I did my part.”
Topley’s tribulations have not gone unnoticed, nor has his fighting spirit gone unappreciated by his team-mates, with captain Jos Buttler paying tribute to the southpaw.
“He is a much-loved member of the team and I am delighted for him,” said the skipper.
It has had quite an interesting history. For him to come back from that and take six of 24 at Lord’s is an incredibly special performance.
“It is a tribute to his perseverance and his way of seeing life and the game. He’s had some really tough experiences, not knowing if he’d ever play again, and that has given him a real sense of perspective and a real pleasure when he plays.
“He has all the attributes to be a fantastic international bowler and I am delighted that he is achieving those results today.”
Having been eliminated by 110 in the first game of the series, England came close to giving up the bat again when they dropped to 102 by five. But a top hit of 47 from Moeen Ali, who shared helpful supports with Liam Livingstone and David Willey, led to what turned out to be a comfortable total.
Buttler still felt England were short on runs, but praised the way his team tackled a difficult situation.
“We felt like we were missing some in the middle of the stage, but I think the intention with which we played as a team is what helped us get a score,” he said.
“That’s been something we’ve tried to do as a team for a long time, play with a certain level of intensity and positivity. We can bat better, we absolutely can, but instead of playing it safe and letting the bowlers settle in long, we were proactive.
“We know there is a lot of experience in the batting lineup and I have a lot of confidence in whoever is in the middle to make the right decision at the time. The whole locker room will always back those guys.”