'An innings worthy of standing his ground when he was bowled'
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.
As that ball started to fly, McCullum thought, "I could get this in less than ten overs".— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) February 20, 2015
Shoddy work then, he let the chase travel to 12.2.
Well that's one way to make sure you don't have to bowl at Death of the Innings... Lose in 13 overs...!!!!— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 20, 2015
But not too many people would be blaming McCullum. They were a little wowed by the batting on display.
What can I say just wow wow wow McCullum @ICC hmmm hmmm— Yohan Blake (@YohanBlake) February 20, 2015
But what could have possessed McCullum to be so belligerent?
Ok now I get it. McCullum is just playing this World Cup to get as many Kiwis a share of the $1 million one handed crowd catch fund— Dean Wilson (@CricketMirror) February 20, 2015
McCullum hits 2 sixes & 7 fours in his first 15 balls - 40 runs in boundaries; 4 more than England managed. Whilst being out 10 fewer times.— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) February 20, 2015
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
That was an innings worthy of standing his ground when he was bowled. #CWC2015— Russell Jackson (@rustyjacko) February 20, 2015
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...
Just 12 to get. 41 overs to go. Nine wickets in hand. But the umpires signal a 45-minute break. Cricket, lovely cricket!— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 20, 2015
But there is always a reason.
So glad to see the umpires taking the poor scorers into consideration and taking lunch...they must be absolutely exhausted.— Pat Symcox (@PatSymcox77) February 20, 2015
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
New Zealand needs to work on that weakness in resuming its innings after the tea break— Sports Freak (@Sportsfreakconz) February 20, 2015
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.
Timmy you absolute legend!! Freak!!— Neil Wagner (@NeilWagner13) February 20, 2015
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
Dock England 50% of their match fees - split it between Tim Southee & Brendon McCullum. #NZvENG— Gaurav Sethi (@BoredCricket) February 20, 2015
So what can say after a team loses a day-night match ended before it became dark do?
Appropriate question to ask after this match: Hey, U K?— peg a ja (@oothikicha) February 20, 2015
Happy man - Cook Happier - KP Happiest - @piersmorgan— Fake Mitch Johnson (@NotMitchJohnson) February 20, 2015