England 123 all out after 33.2 overs (Joe Root 46, Tim Southee 7-33, Daniel 1-19) lost to New Zealand 125-2 in 12.2 overs (Brendon McCullum 77, Martin Guptill 22) by eight wickets at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
Tim Southee was in a class of his own today, producing New Zealand's best figures in ODI history to bowl England out for 123 in the crucial ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 fixture in Wellington. The skipper added to Southee’s record breaking bowling effort with the fastest half century in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup from only 18 balls.
McCullum ended with 77 from only 25 balls, to lead the home side to 124-2 and chase down the English total in the 13th over. It was the first time that Westpac Stadium was a full house for a cricket match – a total crowd of over 30,000.
In the hot midday sun, England’s Captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bat first.
Southee, who was simply unplayable at times, showed his class, spearheading the attack with a fine display of seam bowling from the northern end of Westpac Stadium.
The 26-year-old produced a peach of a delivery to bowl English opener Ian Bell in the fifth over. Southee angled his delivery in, it straightened off the seam, and took the top of off stump.
There was more to come as he removed Moeen Ali (20 from 15 balls) with an in-swinging yorker that completely outplayed the left-hander from Birmingham.
At the other end, his partner in crime Trent Boult (1-32 from 10) toiled hard without reward.
McCullum persisted with the left armer for eight overs and he nabbed the wicket of Gary Ballance (10) who was caught at cover-point when he lobbed one to Kane Williamson. The BLACKCAPS had England 57-3 and were in control after 13.1 overs.
Morgan, who has been under fire recently with four ducks in his last five innings, joined Joe Root at the crease as the visitors looked to rebuild and post a credible total.
The England skipper was on track to re-build but was undone by a spectacular catch in the deep by Adam Milne at long off, who made huge ground to track to his left and completed a superb, sprawling catch.
Southee then came back for a second spell to bowl James Taylor (0) and then had danger man Joss Buttler (3) caught behind to claim his third and fourth wickets in quick succession.
Stuart Broad (4) and Steve Finn (0) were the next victims of the Southee rampage, caught by Vettori and Taylor respectively as Southee delivered the third five wicket bag in World Cups history for New Zealand after Shane Bond 6-23 (v Australia 2003, Port Elizabeth) and Richard Hadlee 5-25 (v Sri Lanka 1983, Bristol), finishing with 7-33 from nine overs to record the best bowling figures in ODI history by a New Zealander.
The BLACKCAPS chased the target of 124 in aggressive style this evening to give their Wellington fans the perfect day to celebrate.
McCullum bashed the English attack to all corners, clubbing the fastest half century in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup in only 18 balls, breaking his own record of 50 off 20 balls against Canada in 2007.
The skipper brought up the record with a six off Steven Finn in the 6th over. In all, he had only three singles in his innings and the remaining 74 came in boundaries.
The highlight for the Wellington faithful came when he hit four consecutive sixes in the same over off Finn where he reached the milestone. Around the same time, the BLACKCAPS brought up 100 runs off only 40 balls.
The skipper was finally dismissed for whirlwind innings of 77 from 25 balls in only 39 minutes that included eight fours and seven sixes when he was bowled by a Chris Woakes with a full toss, leaving with a strike rate of 308 for his 29th ODI half century.
Tea came with only 12 runs left to get, and the break seemed to interrupt Guptill's rhythm, as he was bowled in the first over back by Woakes for 22 from the same amount of balls.
Ross Taylor (5*) and Kane Williamson (9*) reeled in the ten or so required without incident - the winning runs came from five wides bowled by Stuart Broad, which summed up the English performance here today.
The eight wicket win sees the BLACKCAPS, who have recorded three impressive wins from three matches, climb to the top of Pool A. Tim Southee was named man of the match.