New Zealand v England, World Cup 2015, Group A, Wellington February 20, 2015

The flying Kiwi and Southee's boomerang

Adam Milne's stunning boundary catch, Tim Southee's searing yorker to Moeen Ali, Brendon McCullum's hitting - there was plenty of action in Wellington

Play 01:20
'Cake Tin defeat take the cake'

The ball
There was little swing and Moeen Ali had just hit three successive boundaries off him, but Tim Southee was not to be denied. After delivering a sharp bouncer to start the over - a little reminder to Moeen that he couldn't just wait on the front foot - he delivered a perfect yorker two balls later. Swinging late, it punished Moeen for his lack of foot movement - perhaps due to that bouncer - and swung past the edge to hit off stump. It was probably the pick of a spell that also included wonderful deliveries to account for Ian Bell and James Taylor.

The field
Brendon McCullum provided warm words towards his "champion" friend, Eoin Morgan, ahead of the match. But when the England captain came to the crease, McCullum went in for the kill. Looking around the field, Morgan would have seen three slips, a gully, a point and a short cover when Trent Boult bowled to him. It didn't matter that it wasn't a power-play period, McCullum knew that Morgan was in poor form and sensed a chance to cut deep into England's middle-order. It was a moment that typifies the aggressive, unconventional approach of McCullum and a far cry from England's formulaic method.

The six
There were arguably more people wearing orange - the Dutch might have felt at home here - than any other colour in the crowd. All of them hoping a six would come their way and that they would catch it one-handed to earn a slice of a million-dollar pie. While England kept them waiting in vain for 33.2 overs, McCullum delivered second ball. With lightning hands he slashed, carving the ball high and far over point. It wasn't caught one-handed by an orange-wearing fan, though.

The save
Daniel Vettori is the old man in this New Zealand side so the sprints across the outfield and the crazy diving that his team-mates perform with nonchalance may not be for him anymore. Doesn't mean he doesn't save runs in the field. McCullum had sprinted in from mid-off to short cover and he swung around after picking up to try and run out Joe Root with a stinging throw. He missed, but Vettori was good enough to get to the stumps quickly and solid enough to collect the ball behind his body. England might have got five otherwise.

The catch
Morgan had just punched Vettori towards long-on. Only the ball didn't get that far because McCullum flew from midwicket and stopped the ball after it had already passed him. So Morgan decided to take McCullum out of the equation four deliveries later and lofted the ball straight towards the sight-screen, only to encounter another flying Kiwi. Adam Milne sped to his right from the boundary and timed his full-length dive to perfection to catch the England captain with both hands.

The rule
With New Zealand requiring only 12 more runs to win and their batsmen going like a train - they were scoring at 12.44 runs per over - the game stopped for the interval. While common sense - and respect for the paying spectator - cried out fore the game to be played to an immediate conclusion, there is little room for common sense within the playing conditions. Instead the packed house was forced to wait for 45 minutes, by which time many people had gone home and a great deal of the atmosphere built by McCullum's magnificent stroke-play had dissipated. Only in cricket....

There are reasons, of course. In some circumstances it might have rained a few minutes into the break and England might have escaped with a point; Pakistan benefited similarly in the 1992 World Cup. But on a bright day with the weather set fair and the atmosphere building to a peak, it was a frustrating delay for the spectators.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo; George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dhivakaran on February 20, 2015, 17:49 GMT

    Watching Southee made me go back to 1985 Brisbane when Hadlee scythed through Australia for his 9 for 52. The ball to Woakes for an absolute peach. It thought the delivery was too good to get a wicket but justice was done finally as it grazed the off stump!! Superb exhibition of swing bowling

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2015, 16:11 GMT

    @SHANAWAZ KHAN ON | FEBRUARY 20, 2015, 14:13 GMT:

    Kiwis, the birds which can't fly, are the new animal slayers. Don't pick their size for a fight for a win, challenge the bigger ones. First Lions. In fact two sets of Lions. SL Lions first, English Lions now? Are there any other set of lions. Only, Tigers, Elephants, Giraffes, & perhaps Kangaroos, perhaps with a further stretch!! The last one is tough though.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2015, 14:13 GMT

    The Kiwis just violated the Lions........... I guess the ICC still wants a 10 team competition. You know to make it competitive....hahahaha

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2015, 11:33 GMT

    As a Kiwi watching it in Perth it was frustrating seeing them walk off for lunch with 12 runs left. It was stupid and took the gloss over a 100% complete performance from NZ. The match ref should have stepped in and asked Morgan and Macca if they wanted to finish. Morgan would have probably glanced at the sky , seen zero clouds and said yes.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2015, 10:00 GMT

    Thanks England.....we expected nothing, got our hopes built-up pre-tournament with a few wins only for normal service to resume when serious play kicked-off. As ever with England the lesson is expect nothing and thou shall not be disappointed.

    Well played Kiwi's though.....McCullum is on such a roll at the moment that he makes Midas look dull.....

  • Gopalakrishna on February 20, 2015, 8:08 GMT

    I am glad I didnt give this match a miss, though had to miss out on Bazzs hitting.

    What can one say about Southee? Was thrilled to bits seeing him bowl. Champion bowler and easily the best bowling performance I have seen for a long long time in an ODI..Well done Southee!

  • sam on February 20, 2015, 7:33 GMT

    @George It wasn't just "excellent". It was an extra-ordinary spell something ODI Cricket has been missing since a very long time (at least 10 years). I think it was the best spell of bowling in any format cricket in last 3-4 years.

  • k on February 20, 2015, 6:59 GMT

    Awesome Bowling performance by Kiwis

  • RAJEESH on February 20, 2015, 6:19 GMT

    commonsense must prevail. Just like extending the day's/session's play to get a result or even to one team all out in test matches, the break must be pushed forward. Surely, it can be done atleast with consent of both captains. The authorities will amend the rule(just like they did in the no ball-sixer-century-win Sehwag).

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