Brendon McCullum stunned by 'bizarre' New Zealand win

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Wellington, Feb 20: Record-breaking New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said a crushingly lopsided World Cup win over England here today was a "bizarre" achievement. (From Twitter: Fans reactions after Eng-NZ match)

Scorecard; Match Report, McCullum hits fastest WC fifty; World Cup Special

The Black Caps cemented their status as one of the favourites for the tournament with a dominant display as they recorded their third straight victory in as many Pool A matches, with this fixture completed in 45.4 overs, fewer than half the scheduled maximum for a one-day international.

File photo of Brendon McCullum

New Zealand paceman Tim Southee took seven for 33, the third-best World Cup figures of all-time, as England were bowled out for just 123. McCullum then piled on the agony for England with the fastest-ever World Cup fifty, off just 18 balls, on his way to a whirlwind 77.

"It's a great win, while England have probably struggled of late, we knew we'd have to keep them quiet," McCullum said at the presentation ceremony.

As for man-of-the-match Southee's haul, McCullum added: "It's one of the best spells of bowling I've seen for a long time.

"Tim's been leading our group for a long time and with Trent Boult, he got the ball swinging a huge amount.

"To win by that sort of margin, it's bizarre really. We've earned ourselves a good break after a great first week of the tournament."

Southee, roared on by a capacity 33,000 crowd at the Westpac Stadium, said: "A packed house was pretty special to come out in front of. We've been bowling well as a group for a long time and today was one of those moments when it all went well for us.

"Our bowling coach, Shane Bond, does a lot of work behind the scenes and puts confidence into us."

For England, this was a second thumping loss in as many matches after they launched their World Cup campaign with a 111-run defeat by Australia, the other co-hosts, in Melbourne last weekend.

With non-Test nation Scotland next up, England captain Eoin Morgan was optimistic the worst was over for his battered team. "I thought New Zealand bowled really well.

Conditions suited them, it swung throughout our innings which was unexpected," he said. "Our first two games were always going to be tough, we need a win as soon as possible now."

AFP

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