ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 9th Match: Southee and McCullum annihilate England

Southee finished with a career-best 7-33 off nine overs

Southee finished with a career-best 7-33 off nine overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee took a career-best seven wickets and captain Brendon McCullum scored the fastest half-century in World Cup history as the Blackcaps annihilated England by eight wickets in Wellington.

England captain Eoin Morgan would have been regretting his decision to bat first since his team, with the exception of batsman Joe Root, never got out of the starting blocks thanks to Southee, who was absolutely unstoppable and unplayable for a majority of the nine overs he bowled.

Other than Root, who scored 46 off 70 balls, which included three boundaries, the only other batsman to make it to 20 runs was all-rounder Moeen Ali.

Thanks to Root, England managed to make 122 before they were bowled out in front of a packed house at the Westpac Stadium.

Root was England's top-scorer with 46 runs

Root was England’s top-scorer with 46 runs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Southee was easily the pick of the bowlers with seven wickets, while Trent Boult, Adam Milne and Daniel Vettori chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 123 to win, New Zealand got off to a blazing start as McCullum and Martin Guptill amassed a 105-run partnership, during which McCullum broke the record for the fastest fifty in World Cup history, before he was clean bowled by Chris Woakes.

McCullum’s record-breaking knock of 77 came off 25 balls and included eight boundaries and seven sixes.

McCullum only needed 18 balls to bring up his half-century

McCullum only needed 18 balls to bring up his half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Guptill went on to score 22 runs before he was also cleaned up by Woakes.

Despite taking two quick wickets, England had absolutely no chance of defending their total following McCullum’s blitz and they ended up losing the match by eight wickets.

Woakes was the only bowler to take any wickets.

Morgan was disgusted with his side’s performance, and said: “They bowled really well. It swung throughout our innings, which was pretty unexpected. We expected it to be batting friendly throughout the innings. First two games. Difficult to regroup. We concentrate on simple things from here on. I feel a lot better as a batsman after today. McCullum is not the ideal candidate to be bowling at when you have only 123 on board.”

McCullum was ecstatic to have won again, and said: “It was incredible. We wanted to bat first as well. I thought the pitch was pretty good, but it is just the ability of our bowlers to swing the ball in the air. World-class performance, the crowd was amazing. Amazing for us to have this attack up our sleeve, and we have guys on the sidelines who have done well for us in the past. Huge first week in the tournament, now some time to regroup. One area you can control is fielding. Allows a captain to make subtle changes as well. Our fielding today was as good as it has been in a pretty long time. I am sure England will bounce back but good to get the points against a pretty strong England side. We might have a quiet beer in the dressing room [when asked what the plan is for the rest of the day].”

Southee edged out McCullum for the Man of the Match award, and said: “A packed house, pretty special to come out in front of them. But I think we have been bowling well as a unit together. Just that today everything fell together. Shane Bond has been great. He gives us a lot of confidence. A lot of work he does behind the scenes. As a player you have a bit of a niggle any time, but with the work that Chris Donaldson has done with us, we are a pretty fit unit. Another great team performance.”

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