Southee 7-33; NZ dismisses England for 123 in World Cup
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Tim Southee took 7-33 — the best return by a New Zealander in limited-overs internationals — as England was bowled out for 123 in a Cricket World Cup Pool A match on Friday, heaping more misery on a team visibly bereft of form or confidence.
England captain Eoin Morgan, under pressure for his own lack of form, won the toss and chose to bat first in perfect conditions: the day was fine and warm and the drop-in pitch at the Wellington Regional Stadium favors high-scoring matches.
But Southee bowled both England openers, Ian Bell (8) and Moeen Ali (20) to put its innings under early strain at 36-2, and returned to take 5-10 in four overs in his second spell as England’s innings ended in 33.2 overs.
Morgan found himself at the crease in only the 14th over with England at 57-3, on the dismissal of Gary Ballance for 10. His personal ordeal at the tournament continued as he played a tortured innings of 17 from 51 balls before being brilliantly caught by Adam Milne off Daniel Vettori’s bowling.
Morgan’s partnership of 47 with Joe Root for the fourth wicket, though labored, was still the best of an England innings which was shaky from its outset.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum brought Southee back into the attack on Morgan’s dismissal, with England 104-4 in the 26th over, and he quickly swept through the middle and lower order.
Southee, who took 2-23 from his first five-over spell, bowled James Taylor when England was still 104, then removed Jos Buttler (3), Chris Woakes (1), Stuart Broad (4) and Steve Finn. In doing so he surpassed his previous best return in one-day internationals of 5-33.
Root, who top-scored with 46, was the only batsman to show any resistance but he was virtually left a spectator to the ruin occurring at the other end.
Ali had tried to give England an assertive beginning with a boundary in the first over, then three more from consecutive deliveries from Southee, to reach 20 from 15 balls before he became Southee’s second victim.
Morgan came into the match with four ducks in his last five innings and was lucky not to be bowled by Trent Boult when he played down the wrong line of the second ball he faced. He scrapped with the desperation of man aware of his own lack of form but never managed to bat fluently and he hit only one boundary before departing.
Southee blasted through the remainder of the England order in an outstanding demonstration of fast-paced and accurate swing bowling.
New Zealand, which dismissed Scotland for 142 in its previous match, again found itself batting before the scheduled innings break.