A dominant batting performance by openers Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder powered New Zealand to a 10-wicket win over England in the second one-day cricket international on Tuesday.
The overwhelming victory, completed with 17.5 overs to spare in the rain-shortened game, lifted New Zealand to 2-0 in the five-match series.
Set an adjusted target of 165 to win in 36 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis system, McCullum belted 80 off 47 balls and Ryder cracked 79 from 62, with six extras.
Their unbroken stand was a New Zealand record against England, eclipsing the 160 by Martin Crowe and Geoff Howard, set in 1984.
England, sent into bat after New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss, were all out for 158 with five balls remaining in their innings, which was interrupted by a 140-minute rain delay.
England captain Paul Collingwood had no excuses for the below-par performance.
”We were well beaten, [we] weren’t good enough,” he said.
”We started off well until the rain break and after that it was just a devastating period for us. We’re not making any excuses tonight [Tuesday], we weren’t good enough, simple as that.”
Vettori, meanwhile, was full of praise for McCullum and the 23-year-old Ryder, who was playing only his second international.
”They can be an exciting opening pair for us for [many] years and if they keep playing like that they’re going to make some crowds pretty happy,” Vettori said.
”They go out and be aggressive, and play their natural games and when you sit back and watch it they are actually playing really good cricket shots. Nothing looks out of control.”
McCullum had an early life in New Zealand’s run chase when he was dropped by wicketkeeper Phil Mustard off James Anderson’s second ball, but his innings was chanceless from then on.
In the paceman’s second over, McCullum took 11 runs off the first three balls and Ryder followed with a boundary as they upped the tempo.
McCullum’s innings included eight fours and five sixes while Ryder smashed 11 boundaries and two sixes as they massacred the England attack.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for New Zealand following the tourists’ wins in the two Twenty20 matches last week.
Earlier, the home side stayed calm when England openers Alastair Cook and Mustard tore into the New Zealand attack and romped along at seven runs an over.
The breakthrough came in the sixth over when New Zealand bowling spearhead Chris Martin removed Mustard (13) and Ian Bell in successive balls to have the tourists 41-2.
Kevin Pietersen avoided the hat-trick and, with Cook, took England to 85-2 when rain stopped play after 15 overs.
When play resumed, England were unable to regain their momentum. Pietersen lasted less than two overs before he was trapped leg before wicket by Michael Mason for 29, starting a rout in which they lost eight wickets for 73 runs.
Cook was run out for 53 after facing 69 balls, while the only other batsmen to reach double figures were Ravi Bopara and Stuart Broad, who both scored 23.
The tourists suffered from poor decision-making, with three run-outs in the innings.
For New Zealand, Martin, Mason and Vettori took two wickets apiece while Jacob Oram conceded just 12 runs from his seven overs.
New Zealand won the first match in Wellington by six wickets on Saturday and have the chance to seal the series in the third match at Auckland on Friday. — AFP