A collective groan went up at the University Oval when Brendon McCullum chose to bowl and the worst fears of the full-house crowd seemed to be coming true when Scotland slumped to 12 for 4 against the new ball. A 97-run partnership between Matt Machan and Richie Berrington ensured they wouldn’t set any unwanted records, but the rest of their batting fell away and New Zealand wrapped up their innings in just 36.2 overs.
A target of 143 was never going to test New Zealand, but they made the chase unnecessarily interesting with their recklessness. Of the seven wickets they lost, only that of Grant Elliott wasn’t thrown away. Three batsmen were caught on the fence, two gave their wickets away minutes after being dropped, and even Kane Williamson – solid, reliable Kane Williamson – couldn’t resist an ugly heave across the line.
In the end, New Zealand wrapped up the win with more than half their overs remaining, but the team management will surely wonder how their approach transformed so dramatically between innings.