New Zealand beat England by 8 wickets
Wellington: Fast bowler Tim Southee produced one of the best cricket World Cup spells to help New Zealand bowl out England for a paltry 123 with his rich haul of 7/33 in a Pool A match of the ongoing quadrennial extravaganza here today.
Opting to bat after winning the toss at the Westpack Stadium, England found the going tough form the very beginning with South leading the way for the Kiwis.
The 26-year-old pacer, whose previous best in an ODI was 5/33, bowled Ian Bell and Mooen Ali with just 36 runs on the board.
Trent Boult, Adam Milne and the experienced Daniel Vettori joined the party to leave England reeling at 104 for four in the 26th over.
After that Southee returned to clean up the visiting side’s lower order in a jiffy to give the co-hosts a real chance of recording their second successive match in the 11th edition of the mega-event.
Batting at number four position, only Joe Root tried to show some fight as he top-scored with a painstaking 46 off 70 balls, which included three hits to fence, before he was dismissed by Milne.
Opener Ali was the next best scorer with 20, while skipper Eoin Morgan made only 17 in what was a disastrous showing by the English outfit against the Southee-led inspired New Zealand attack.
While none of the top-order batsmen impressed, the lower-order, as expected, too crumbled in the face of New Zealand pacers’ relentless aggression.
The English side could bat only 33.2 overs, giving ample evidence of their inept batting display on a wicket that had something for the quicker bowlers.
Besides Southee, who returned very impressive figures of 7/33 in nine overs, the other wicket-takers for New Zealand were Boult, Milne and Vettori.
England: 123 all out in 33.2 overs (Joe Root 46; Tim Southee 7/33)
New Zealand: 125 for 2 in 12.2 overs (Brendon McCullum 77).