New Zealand 125-2 (McCullum 77) beat
England 123 (Southee 7-33) by eight wickets
World Cup, 9th Match, Pool A at Wellington
England were demolished at Wellington by some high quality swing bowling and power hitting, as Tim Southee registered New Zealand’s best One-Day International bowling figures and Brendon McCullum scored the fastest World Cup half-century.
Like Dickens would say, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Best for New Zealand, worst for England.
A nightmare come true for England, the match did not last a combined fifty overs.
Meanwhile, New Zealand have yet again staked their claim as title contenders with a thumping win over a hapless England.
England won the toss and chose to bat, on a strip which both the captains admitted during the toss, was a very good one for batting.
Although the English score may suggest otherwise, there were no demons at all in the pitch.
England started on a jarring note as both openers, Ian Bell (8) and Moeen Ali (20), had their stumps castled by Southee (7-33).
About the only bright spot of the English batting was in the fifth over, when Moeen Ali smashed three fours off three successive deliveries from Southee. The bowler though had his revenge when he yorked Ali, breaching his defence.
The carnage was just about to start. Eoin Morgan (17) arrested his string of single-digit scores and England’s slide for a while, putting on 47 runs for the fourth wicket with Joe Root (46).
Morgan’s crawling innings eventually came to a halt, courtesy of a stunning catch by fast bowler Adam Milne at long-on.
From then on it was the Southee show, as he cleaned up the English lower middle-order and tail, recording the best bowling figures for New Zealand in ODIs, the sixth best of all time and the third best at the World Cup, winning the man of the match.
Root, stranded at one end was the last wicket to go, England not even making use of their batting power play.
Milne (1-25) clocked the fastest ball of the day, with a delivery crossing the 150kph barrier. Trent Boult (1-32) and Daniel Vettori (1-19) bowled steadily, but it was Tim Southee, who gave a crash course in the art of high quality swing bowling.
Four of Southee’s seven wickets were out bowled and two more came with catches behind the wicket as England fumbled their way through to an embarrassing 123 all out in just 33.2 overs, forcing New Zealand to come out to bat before the scheduled lunch time.
Incredibly, Southee claimed all seven wickets in his last 40 balls, conceding just 12 runs during that period.
If England thought that they had just lived a nightmare with the bat, it was only going to get worse as McCullum (77) swatted Steven Finn (0-49) and James Anderson (0-37) like he was making a statement about the pitch quality.
McCullum, batting like he was upset about missing out on his lunch, scored the fastest World Cup half century in just 18 balls, beating his own record against Canada by two deliveries.
He took a special liking first for Stuart Broad (0-27), smashing one six and three fours in the second over.
Bowling changes didn’t help as McCullum smashed another twenty runs in Finn’s first over, the innings’ fourth.
Things escalated further as McCullum smashed four sixes in successive deliveries off Finn in the sixth over, teeing off after reaching his half-century.
At one point, McCullum seemed on target to reach the fastest ODI century ever, only to miss a high full toss from Chris Woakes (2-8) getting his stumps shattered.
Throughout his 25-ball knock, McCullum was in murderous form, dancing down the track, moving back and forth, severe on everything England had to dish out, largely a combination of half-volleys, half-trackers and full tosses.
The break was taken with New Zealand needing just 12 runs to win, and was welcomed by loud boos from the spectators around the ground, probably offering England respite from a nightmarish two hours.
Woakes offered some cheer for England, getting through Martin Guptill’s (22) defence immediately after the break.
Woakes was the only bowler to leave the arena with his confidence still intact as all the other three were stunned by a McCullum onslaught.
Finn was out of the attack after just two overs. Even Anderson proved ineffective against a New Zealand side which scored nearly 80% of its runs off boundaries.
Broad returned to repair his esteem and his figures.
Kane Williamson (9) and Ross Taylor (5) did their best to give the crowd a few more minutes of cricket.
But, the inevitable cruelty of England’s margin of loss couldn’t be delayed for long.
New Zealand chased down 123 in just 12.2 overs, winning by eight wickets, as Broad characteristic of the match, bowled five wides to end the game.
This was New Zealand’s fifth successive World Cup win over England, who haven’t beaten the the men in black since 1983.
© Cricket World 2015