Kiwis rout England

INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE . . . Brendon McCullum slammed 77 off 25 balls as the Kiwis routed England

INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE . . . Brendon McCullum slammed 77 off 25 balls as the Kiwis routed England

WELLINGTON. — Paceman Tim Southee recorded the best one-day figures by a New Zealander while Brendon McCullum hit the fastest Cricket World Cup half-century to lead their team to an eight-wicket rout of hapless England yesterday. Southee took seven for 33 in nine overs as England collapsed to 123 all out in just 33.2 overs.

New Zealand captain McCullum’s rollicking 25-ball 77 with seven sixes and eight fours at the top of the order then saw the tournament co-hosts romp to victory in just 12.2 overs of their reply in Wellington.

When the umpires called for a dinner break with New Zealand needing just 12 more runs to win, jeers rang out around the packed 33 000 capacity Westpac Stadium.

But although the amount of cricket played was under half the scheduled 100 overs of a one-day international, the crowd certainly got their money’s worth.

Victory gave New Zealand, one of the tournament favourites, their third win in as many Pool A games while England were left with two defeats in two following a 111-run thrashing by Australia.

“It was an incredible performance. We wanted to bat first too and it shows the ability of our bowlers to get swing through the air,” said McCullum.

England skipper Eoin Morgan said that he was always expecting two tough games first up.

“We need a win as soon as possible now. Batting in those conditions and trying to get 270 plus was tough,” said Morgan.

Sensing an easy win, McCullum launched a ferocious attack on the England bowling, hitting Stuart Broad for a six off the first ball he faced.

Fast bowler Steven Finn was not spared as McCullum hit six, four, four and six off the Middlesex paceman’s first four balls and then another six to bring up his fifty off just 18 balls.

McCullum held the previous record for the fastest World Cup fifty, off 20 balls against Canada at St Lucia in 2007.

Finn’s two wicketless overs cost a whopping 49 runs before Chris Woakes ended McCullum’s knock by bowling him off a bottom edge.

South Africa’s AB de Villiers holds the record for the fastest-ever one-day international 50, off just 16 balls, made against the West Indies last month.

Earlier it was Southee who left England clueless after Morgan won the toss and batted on a flat looking pitch. — AFP.