New Zealand Vs England at Wellington, 20th February 2015 - Match Review
England won the toss and the English skipper Eoin Morgan had no hesitation in batting first on a beautiful day in Christchurch. The pitch looked a belter and the Westpac was supposed to witness a sell-out for the first time. The stage was perfectly set for the England-New Zealand clash as I had mentioned in my match preview.
The English openers, Bell and Moeen Ali, began with caution as they negated the early threat of Southee and Boult with relative ease until Southee straightened one past Bell to clip the top of his off stump. Moeen counter attacked as he hit Southee for 3 boundaries in his next over but Southee worked him over in the next over. Balance struggled before chipping one straight to short cover off Boult and Eoin Morgan was given a tough time as he labored to 20 odd before finally being dismissed by Daniel Vettori. The rest was a blur. Batsmen came and went. From 104-3 England managed to get all out for 123. Tim Southee had them on the ropes; the ball was talking in his hands. It was just an exhibition of high class swing bowling from one of the best. He finished with 7-33, the best figures ever by a Kiwi bowler and the 3rd best ever in a World Cup tournament after Glenn McGrath and Andy Bichel.
Tim Southee put on an a swing show as he destroyed England
with career best figures of 7-33 at Westpac, Wellington
From there, it was a cakewalk for the Kiwi batsmen but what followed was massacre. Brendon McCullum seemed like a man on a mission. The fastest fifty, and the much talked about fastest hundred which AB De Villiers smashed just a few months back were in serious threat. McCullum smashed the fastest 50 of the World Cup to beat his own record and ended up with 77 off just 35 balls. Finn was taken for 49 off 2 overs and Broad went for 27 in 2 overs. New Zealand won the match comfortably by 8 wickets with a whopping 226 balls to spare. England was well and truly embarrassed by a world class, well oiled and hungry unit.
The New Zealand team is just going from strength to strength and they are looking unstoppable at the moment. As for the England how they will rise from a battering such as this remains to be seen though it seems highly improbable at this moment.
PS - The image used is courtesy www.espncricinfo.com