NZ v Eng, Group A, Wellington February 20, 2015

'An innings worthy of standing his ground when he was bowled'

ESPNcricinfo staff

If England thought being swung out by Tim Southee was their low point of the day, they had another thing coming. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum strode in, slammed an eye-watering 77 off 25 balls - 74 of which came in boundaries - and knocked them out. It was the fastest fifty in World Cup cricket and almost killed the match before the supper break and they say one-day cricket meanders.

Shoddy work then, he let the chase travel to 12.2.

But not too many people would be blaming McCullum. They were a little wowed by the batting on display.

But what could have possessed McCullum to be so belligerent?

If Regional stadium was a dark alley, McCullum was the boogeyman and the England bowlers would have a few sleepless nights after this. Steven Finn might be the most afflicted, as he claimed the most expensive two-over spell in ODI history.

The target was 19 runs away. McCullum was four sixes from the fastest century in World Cup Cricket. But the fairytale was not to be as Chris Woakes broke through

Now that that's done, what did the home fans have to look forward to?

Just when the umpires thought this match wouldn't last long enough for them to be caught under the magnifying glass...

But there is always a reason.

After forty-five minutes of the crowd not having to dodge cricket balls hurtling at them...

Not to be as Martin Guptill was bowled by a ball that kept a touch low

The carnage almost overshadowed a stunning display of swing bowling from Tim Southee, but bowlers tend not to forget. And team-mates certainly don't.

He was close to being a certifiable one too. Had Southee picked up one more wicket to go with his 7 for 33, he could have had the best display by a bowler in a World Cup.

Outswingers that hit top of off stump, outswingers that hit base of off stump. Today was not the day to be an England batsman. And Stuart Broad came in with the score at 108 for 6 and was out for 4

So what can say after a team loses a day-night match ended before it became dark do?

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Garry on February 21, 2015, 16:52 GMT

    ABIINDIA what a load of Rubbish, the rear guard 300 to save a test, when has Kohli, Maxwell or AB ever done that? And how on earth could you add Maxwells name to Kohli and AB, he is a poor man's Corey Anderson and a even poorer man's McCullum, no way is he in the same class as AB or Kohli LMAO.

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2015, 3:47 GMT

    Worst part of the day was the 45 minute tea break. Equal worst the umpires not realising Broad was outside the 30m circle when Woakes bowled McCullum. Should have been a No Ball. Umpires can't check this when the ball is bowled so surely the replays should.

  • Martin on February 21, 2015, 0:35 GMT

    Sorry but its time to recognise that KP needed to be there. Such poor leadership at senior management level. What really makes it so really really sad is that Morgan knows it but because of political pressure he was not able to rebuild the bridges. Watch when KP and Morgan destroy opposition in the IPL. England senior leadership you are FAIL!!!

  • Jonathan on February 20, 2015, 21:12 GMT

    Disturbed by how much hate there is for England on here. They had a very, very bad game and have been on poor form for a year or so (although still beat India twice in the triangular...). Apparently comments like 'England should lose their status' and 'English don't care about cricket' are reasonable things to say? English support overseas is at least as strong as anyone else's, and all other teams have been thrashed before. We're just having a really bad time right now. Finally, if Simon Barnes says that Associates shouldn't be at the WC... that doesn't mean it's what English people think!! I want as many teams to have ODI status as possible, and really enjoyed the qualifiers last year.

    I laughed hard when we won the Ashes so easily in Australia in 2011, when we won the Tests in India, when Ireland beat the Windies... gotta take the rough with the smooth in sport! So have a laugh at how bad England are... but don't be ridiculous!

  • abi on February 20, 2015, 20:07 GMT

    peaple are praising too much for a man who always like to fight with 10 year old boy. Macullum always do this kind of work when there is a small numbers to chase, not if target set beyond 300, like kohli or ABD or Maxi usually does. I hate this kind of praising people "blindness" can not identity the genuine batsman. is this called carnage? very funny

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2015, 17:56 GMT

    Remembering the concern of Simon Barnes about the test status of Bangladesh just few days back. Now we have to think about cancelling their status. This country is about football. The English do not care about cricket. I think a premier league match is more important to an English person than the final cricket match between England V Australia. What is the point of playing cricket then? Cricket is for us and we were born to play cricket. If our status is taken away, we will still keep playing. This is our passion, not a game of high class as English people think.

  • Martin on February 20, 2015, 15:06 GMT

    @Dalok Babu - Just read the Economist article and beyond the irony of an ultra-free market publication criticising the influence of money in the game, they also state that "all eight front-rank sides will almost certainly qualify" for the quarter finals. Hmm, let's see shall we...

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2015, 14:59 GMT

    It may all come down to the Eng v BD match (game # 33) to decide who goes to the QF

  • Jay on February 20, 2015, 14:47 GMT

    hahahaha... England don't deserve to be a full member after this performance. Hey ICC, please make sure Ireland gets England's spot on the rankings.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2015, 13:59 GMT


    People are talking more about MCullum's 77(25) Knock but not about rare Southee's bowling genius 7/33

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