Tamil Diplomat

Southee, McCullum trample England

Tim Southee produced one of the great displays of ODI bowling and Brendon McCullumhammered a World Cup record 18-ball fifty as New Zealand produced a display of scarcely believable dominance in Wellington. Southee’s figures of 7 for 33 were the third best in a World Cup, the best for the country in all ODIs and only the third time a New Zealand bowler had taken a five-wicket haul in the tournament.

England subsided to 123 in 33.2 overs after deciding to bat first – their out-of-form captain Eoin Morgan limping to 17 off 41 balls – and lost their last seven wickets for 19 in eight overs as they had no answer to Southee and a suffocating fielding performance. “It’s a bit of a blur at the moment,” a rather shocked Southee said at the end of the innings which came so soon that New Zealand had time to bat, and almost win, before the interval.

As if to mock England, McCullum then surged to a record fifty – and the third-fastest in all ODIs – breaking his own mark, to complete one of the most embarrassing days of England’s one-day history and one of New Zealand’s most famous.

McCullum crunched seven sixes of varying ferocity; Stuart Broad was taken for 18 off his first over while Steven Finn was brutally dispatched for 49 off two that included four consecutive sixes. If he had not been bowled by a Chris Woakes full toss in the eighth over, New Zealand would have won before the break that came after nine overs; considerable boos rang around as the players trudged off. The formalities were completed 45 minutes later, fittingly with five wides, to equal England’s heaviest defeat in terms of ball remaining – 226.