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Southee, Boult show class in New Zealand’s World Cup wins

February 20, 2015

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Tim Southee and Trent Boult have enhanced their reputation as one of the best new-ball pairings in all cricket formats as they’ve helped propel New Zealand to wins in its first three matches at the World Cup.

The pair have transferred recent strong form in test cricket directly into the limited-overs arena, sharing 16 wickets in New Zealand’s 98-run win over Sri Lanka, three-wicket win over Scotland and in Friday’s resounding eight-wicket win over England.

Southee’s 7-33 on Friday was the best bowling performance by a New Zealander in a one-day international match, surpassing the mark of 6-25 set by New Zealand’s current bowling coach Shane Bond who has been credited with a key role in the pair’s spectacular recent development.

Bond will step down shortly to take a coaching role in the Indian Premier League but Southee said he leaves an impressive legacy.

“I think Shane takes a lot of pride out of seeing the bowlers do well,” Southee said. “I think he’s been instrumental in the way the bowlers have performed for a couple of years now. We’re all better bowlers for his input.”

Southee has taken 35 wickets in nine tests since January, 2014 and 20 wickets in his last seven ODIs. Boult has 38 wickets in his last 10 tests and has developed during this World Cup into an equally effective limited-overs bowler after coming into the tournament with only 10 ODI wickets.

The pair, but Southee particularly, turned in a prolonged masterclass in swing bowling against England on Friday: Southee bowled both England openers — Ian Bell and Moeen Ali with hooping deliveries during his opening spell. He returned when the old ball was still swinging prodigiously in the 26th over and finished off the England innings with 5-10 from his last four overs.

Southee said while he enjoyed conspicuous individual success against England, the successes enjoyed by all New Zealand bowlers were a result of collective effort and their work as a unit.

“You take the personal accolades but I think it is credit to the way we’ve bowled as a unit over a period of time now,” he said. “Today was one of the days when I got the rewards and I’m sure there will be times when we’ll bowl just as well and someone else will take the rewards.”

Southee said the New Zealand bowlers success has been increased by the aggressive captaincy of Brendon McCullum, who maintained three slips and a gully well into England’s innings, and the outstanding caliber of New Zealand’s fielding.

“I think we’ve seen (while) Brendon has been in charge that he’s an aggressive captain and the way he plays his cricket is aggressive,” he said. “As bowlers, that gives you the confidence to go out knowing the captain is right in behind you setting those attacking fields.

“We’ve prided ourselves on being one of the best fielding sides for a number of years now and that’s an attitude thing, led by Brendon himself and the way he throws himself around in the field.”

New Zealand has a week off before taking on co-host Australia, a four-time World Cup champion, in Auckland.

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