Southee, McCullum star in big NZ win
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP):
Tim Southee took seven for 33 in the most destructive spell in New Zealand's one-day international history and Brendon McCullum made the fastest 50 in a Cricket World Cup as the tournament co-hosts crushed England by eight wickets yesterday.
Southee hurried England out for 123 in 33.2 overs, then McCullum made the embarrassment deeper when he smashed 77 from 25 balls, reaching a half-century from 18 deliveries - the third fastest in the history of one-day internationals after A.B. de Villiers (16 balls) and Shahid Afridi (17).
Southee's devastating second spell, when he took 5-10 in four overs, and McCullum's ruthless onslaught saw New Zealand complete their third straight win in Pool A within seven days. They won with 37.4 overs to spare, before the floodlights had been turned on in the day-night match.
No victory against a top team in New Zealand's ODI history has been more comprehensive or executed with more callous efficiency.
HARD TO RECALL
It was hard to recall, amid the drama of falling wickets and the excitement of McCullum's batting, that England's captain Eoin Morgan had actually chosen to bat on winning the toss, the single moment of success in England's humbling afternoon. Morgan bore the appearance of a haunted man by the end of a match which made England's opening 111-run defeat to Australia seem gentle by comparison.
Southee began a record-breaking day with the ball: he beat his own best ODI return of 5-33, then went on to surpass Shane Bond's 6-23 (against India) to produce the best bowling return by a New Zealander in the 50-over format.
He described New Zealand's game as "an almost perfect performance" and his own as "one of those days when I couldn't do anything wrong."
McCullum didn't just dominate but devoured the England bowling, hitting eight fours and seven sixes, taking 18 runs from Stuart Broad's first over and 49 runs from two overs bowled by Steve Finn.
Morgan was out for 17 when England was 104-4 in the 27th over, having batted for 51 minutes and faced 41 balls which did little to alleviate his batting slump or the personal ordeal this tournament has become.