KARACHI: The World Cup pedigree can sometimes be misleading but if the recent head-to-head count means anything then New Zealand had clear advantage against England. Leaving aside the first three encounters of the opening editions, they have been the dominant force.
In the 60-over competitions staged on the English soil, the home side was in front. The first-ever World Cup meeting between these teams at Trent Bridge in 1975 saw England ride on a Keith Fletcher century (131 off 147 balls) and Tony Greig’s seam bowling (4-45) to crush New Zealand by 80 runs.
The next time they faced each other was in the semi-final of the 1979 tournament in which New Zealand almost created a major upset at Old Trafford. After restricting England to 221-8 in 60 overs, they ended up totalling 212-9.
Allan Lamb blazed his way to a 105-ball 102 to enable England pile up 322-6 in their 60 overs in the opening game of the double round-robin 1983 World Cup at The Oval where New Zealand paceman Martin Snedden earned dubious distinction of becoming the first bowler in One-day International history to concede over 100 runs with figures of 2-105 in 12 overs.
New Zealand’s reply culminated meekly at 216 in 59 overs with Martin Crowe last man to be dismissed — run out for a 118-ball 97.
However, they avenged that heavy defeat just six days later when they won the return fixture at Edgbaston by two wickets with Jeremy Coney making vital all-round contributions of 1-27 in 12 tidy overs and unbeaten knock of 66 as New Zealand got over the line at 238-8 in 59.5 overs after Richard Hadlee (3-32) and Lance Cairns (3-44) had been responsible for bowling out England for 234 in 55.2 overs with David Gower scoring 92 not out.
That triumph in Birmingham was the beginning of New Zealand’s winning sequence over England whenever they played against them in the subsequent World Cup editions.
During the 1992 event, with New Zealand co-hosting it with their neighbours Australia, England were blown away quite emphatically — after limping to 200-8 in 50 overs at the Basin Reserve in Wellington — as New Zealand raced to 201-3 in just 40.5 overs with Andrew Jones (78) and skipper Martin Crowe (73 not out) leading the chase.
The two countries didn’t play against each other in the next three World Cup editions in 1996, 1999 and 2003, and when they finally did, the Black Caps battered England into submission in the 2007 pool game at Gros Islet. Despite losing four wickets for 72 runs in the 210-run chase, Scott Styris (87) and Jacob Oram (63) got the job done in brilliant fashion with nine overs to spare in an unbroken partnership of 138.
And then New Zealand’s most defining arrived during the 2015 World Cup fixture as the co-hosts annihilated and humiliated England so quickly that the match was over in the first period of action at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.
Opting to bat first, England recovered well to 104-3 in the 26th over but then suffered an inexplicable collapse to be shot out for 123 in 33.2 overs. Joe Root was last to be dismissed for a 70-ball 46 to fast bowler Adam Milne. However, the wrecker-in-chief was seamer Tim Southee with the best-ever ODI analysis for New Zealand as the right-armer grabbed 7-33 in nine overs.
England’s misery was finally completed by New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum who bludgeoned a sensational 77 from mere 25 deliveries in the opening partnership of 105 in the first seven overs before being bowled by Chris Woakes to the first ball of the next over, McCullum’s blistering innings contained eight fours and seven sixes.
The tailpiece of this bizarre match: New Zealand romping home in a small matter of 12.2 overs for the loss of two wickets during a campaign that carried to their maiden World Cup final.
June 11, 1975 — Trent Bridge, England won by 80 runs
June 20, 1979 — Old Trafford, England won by nine runs
June 9, 1983 — The Oval, England won by 106 runs
June 15, 1983 — Edgbaston, New Zealand won by two wickets
March 15, 1992 — Wellington (Basin Reserve), New Zealand won by seven wickets
Feb 14, 1996 — Ahmedabad, New Zealand won by 11 runs
March 16, 2007 — Gros Islet, New Zealand won by six wickets
Feb 20, 2015 — Wellington (Westpac Stadium), New Zealand won by eight wickets.