WELLINGTON - New Zealand were 112 for one, needing just 12 more runs to thrash England in their World Cup Pool A encounter at Wellington on Friday, with a mammoth 41 overs left. So what happened next? Answer, the players went off the field for the scheduled 45-minute mid-match break.

As the players walked off, with umpire Rod Tucker looking a touch sheepish, boos rang out round the Westpac Stadium as bemused fans were left wondering why the match couldn't be played to a finish. Normally the break comes between innings but such was the speed of England's collapse, all out in under 34 overs, that New Zealand batted after just a 10-minute turnaround.

Home fans had had plenty to cheer, rather than jeer, after paceman Tim Southee took seven for 33, the third-best return in World Cup history, as England were skittled out for a meagre 123.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum then rammed home his side's advantage with the fastest-ever World Cup fifty, off just 18 balls, before he was out for a dashing 77.

But that was scant consolation for England, with New Zealand 112 for one off just nine overs when the officials decided there was no flexibility in the rules and took the players off. Technically, Friday's match was a day/night contest but such was New Zealand's dominance the game was all but over in bright sunshine.