ANOTHER day, another slew of new milestones achieved by England’s one-day team. With a series whitewash of Australia now just one more win away, it is records rather than wickets that are tumbling with remarkable regularity this summer.

On Tuesday, England’s batsmen achieved a world-record score as they smashed 481 off 50 overs at Trent Bridge. Today, on an equally placid pitch at Emirates Riverside, they successfully chased down a target of 311 with more than five overs to spare to post the highest score ever recorded in an ODI at Chester-le-Street.

It was England’s second-highest successful ODI run chase, yet it did not really feel like an especially momentous feat. This is a side that is raising expectations and setting new standards every time it walks onto the field.

Number one in the world, and favourites for next summer’s World Cup, which will be played on home soil, England are the current white-ball kings.

Their success has been built on some ferocious top-order batting, and even without the injured Ben Stokes, whose return will require some judicious shuffling given the form of those batsmen currently in the team, a target just north of 300 was never going to cause undue trouble.

Never mind that the Riverside is hardly known as a batsman’s paradise, or that the shadows began to lengthen as the floodlights shone. The world has moved on from the days when a callow Australian attack could be expected to shackle England’s run-makers and force them to choke.

From the moment Jason Roy tucked the first ball of England’s reply behind square for four, Eoin Morgan’s side never looked like stumbling.

They were ahead of the required run rate throughout, largely thanks to Roy and Jonny Bairstow’s explosive opening partnership of 174. The pair have been in superb form throughout this series, and their latest century stand was the perfect balance of brutal hitting and astute judgement.

Yes, there were fours and sixes, most notably when Roy brought up his second century of the series with a towering drive that sailed over long on, but this wasn’t simply a case of looking to hit the Australian bowlers out of the ground. Shot selection was key, along with an unwavering belief in the benefit of being positive.

That mind-set is the main thing that sets this England ODI side apart from its predecessors. No score is too big to chase down, no ambition too lofty to pursue. They might not admit it at the moment, as they lick their wounds ahead of Sunday’s series finale at Old Trafford, but it is an approach that even the Australians will have to acknowledge they admire.

Roy made 101 today, eventually perishing as he carved a catch to point, and Bairstow made 79 before he guided an edge too close to wicketkeeper Tim Paine. Given his form going into the game, which had featured four centuries in his past six ODIs, it was something of a surprise that the Yorkshireman did not go on to make three figures again. Perhaps he is saving that for his trip across the Pennines at the weekend.

England were 183-2 when Bairstow departed, still more than 100 runs short of their target, but not in any degree of danger given they were more than 50 runs clear of where Australia had been at a similar stage of their innings.

There was the slightest of wobbles when Morgan and Joe Root both fell cheaply, but Alex Hales and half-centurian Jos Buttler combined to bludgeon 70 runs off 45 balls to see England home. The top of the order might have hogged the headlines in recent weeks, but this is a side with formidable batting depth.

The quality of England’s batting in the last four games means there has been very little focus on the bowling attack.

You don’t have to be anything out of the ordinary when your batsmen provide you with a world-record score to defend, but yesterday’s task, with Australia electing to bat after winning the toss instead of repeating their ill-advised decision to bowl first at Trent Bridge, finally provided something of a challenge.

England’s bowlers were just about up to it, never quite threatening to rip through the Australian top order, but never quite allowing their opponents to truly cut loose either. There was a time when a total of more than 300 would have been regarded as an excellent effort in an ODI, especially at Chester-le-Street. Now, in a world where a score of 500 feels achievable, it is not even really par for the course.

It always felt inadequate today, with Australia’s batsmen shuffling along at around a run-a-ball despite only losing one wicket in the first 40 overs. Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh both scored centuries, but neither was especially expansive and it never felt as though England’s bowlers were in danger of being overrun.

Adil Rashid was the most expensive member of the English attack, with his ten overs going for 73 runs, but even that doesn’t seem especially costly nowadays. Remarkably, Root was the most economical of the six bowlers that England used, with the Test skipper coming into the attack early and successfully putting the brakes on Australia’s openers.

Finch was dropped on eight, although it would be unfair to be too harsh on Hales, who almost pulled off a sensational one-handed catch at mid-wicket. Finch put on 101 for the opening wicket with Travis Head, and went on to record his 11th ODI hundred off 105 balls.

He perished to the next ball he faced though, playing around a straight delivery from Durham paceman Mark Wood that kept slightly low.

Australia were 225-2 at that stage, with just under ten overs left, and would have been hoping for a total somewhere close to 350.

It didn’t materialise, partly because England’s bowlers kept plugging away on a decent enough line, but mainly because Australia’s batsmen threw away a flurry of wickets as they belatedly looked to cut loose.

David Willey was the chief beneficiary, claiming four wickets in his final two overs, and while the majority were a result of Australian looseness, the manner of Marsh’s departure for 101 will be remembered fondly at the Riverside for quite some time.

Roy scampered around from long off to claim Marsh’s skier, but quickly realised he was about to cross the boundary rope with the ball in his hands.

Craig Overton, making his ODI debut, was about 20 yards infield, so Roy tossed the ball one-handed, enabling his team-mate to take the catch. It was a piece of magnificent improvisation from a player who went on to produce some more thrilling off-the-cuff moments with the bat.