Paceman Tim Southee took seven wickets to register the best one-day international bowling figures by a New Zealander as England were dismissed for just 123 in their World Cup Pool A match at Westpac stadium on Friday.
The 26-year-old achieved the third-best figures in all World Cups with seven for 33 in nine overs after England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to bat on a flat-looking pitch.
Southee, who took two wickets in his first spell of five overs, was devastating as England were bowled out in 33.2 overs, with Trent Boult, Daniel Vettori and Adam Milne also chipping in with a wicket each.
Southee beat the previous best bowling by a New Zealander in all one-day cricket, recorded by Shane Bond, now the team’s bowling coach, who took six for 19 against India at Bulawayo in 2005.
Only Joe Root, last man out in the 34th over, offered resistance with 46 while opener Moeen Ali made 20 and Morgan managed 17 in an otherwise disappointing batting display.
“It’s a bit of a blur at the moment,” said Southee during the change of innings. “We’re good swing bowlers and, although we lost the toss, the ball swung throughout the innings.
“They say that when there’s a bit of blue sky in Wellington, the ball swings.”
Southee’s haul left New Zealand on course for their third win in as many Pool A matches after victories over Sri Lanka and Scotland, with the co-hosts cementing their status as one of the favourites to take the title.
“The brand of cricket we’re playing is putting bums on seats and the atmosphere was fantastic,” said Southee.
England were looking at a revival at 103 for three with Morgan and Root at the crease.
But former Ireland left-hander Morgan, who had managed just two runs with four ducks in his previous five innings, holed out at long-on off Vettori.
He was left to rue his shot as England lost their last seven wickets for just 19 runs.
Ian Bell (eight) and Ali were bowled by Southee in his first incisive spell of five overs, costing 23 runs.
Southee dismissed James Taylor (nought), Jos Buttler (three), Chris Woakes (one), Stuart Broad (four) and Steven Finn (nought) in his next four overs.
He took these five wickets in the space of just 18 balls to record the third best figures in all World Cups behind the Australian duo of Glenn McGrath (7-15) and Andy Bichel (7-20).
“We have been on song from the start,” said New Zealand coach Mike Hesson as the innings progressed.
“Tim Southee’s bowling is almost Test-match like, the way he has gone about his work. -AFP