Cricket: England win best in my time - Hesson

Mike Hesson: 'It was one of those days where, as a coach, you could sit back and enjoy it.' Photo...
Mike Hesson: 'It was one of those days where, as a coach, you could sit back and enjoy it.' Photo Getty
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has rated yesterday's eight-wicket Cricket World Cup win over England the best he has seen at one-day international level in his tenure.

His team leads pool A after their third consecutive win.

The pool rankings look set to stay that way given New Zealand's prodigious net run rate and Australia's match against Bangladesh in danger of being washed out with the arrival of Cyclone Marcia in Brisbane.

The higher New Zealand finish in the pool means they should, in theory, face a weaker quarter-final opponent in Wellington, assuming they win at least one of their three remaining matches against Australia, Afghanistan or Bangladesh.

Tim Southee's New Zealand best one-day international figures of seven for 33 and Brendon McCullum's fastest World Cup and New Zealand half-century in 18 balls led the way against England, backed by flawless fielding.

Hesson was thrilled they delivered when it counted but said celebrations were reserved.

"There were a few pats on the back. The fact it came in such an important game was pleasing. It was one of those days where, as a coach, you could sit back and enjoy it.

"Tim set the tone, he had the ball on a string, swinging it just enough to be challenging. It was a master class.

"The fielding sets the intensity and attitude for us. A number of dismissals followed great pieces of fielding, whether it was keeping a guy on strike or creating indecision."

Hesson said McCullum's decision to set aggressive fields, such as a rare four slips to Trent Boult at one stage, reflected the confidence in bowlers' ability to deliver.

"We've got pretty good cattle in terms of the skills set of our bowlers. We also scouted the English well. [Bowling coach] Shane Bond did some excellent work in that regard."

The same meticulous planning will apply to Australia next Saturday at Eden Park. The two sides haven't met since the washed out match at Birmingham during the 2013 Champions Trophy, their only ODI meeting during Hesson's tenure.

"There's no baggage. Australia are a formidable outfit and there will be nothing better than those two sides going toe to toe in front of a full house."

Hesson wasn't concerned about Australia's verbal sparring clashing with New Zealand's brand of controlled aggression.

"We play against quite a few teams who act that way, but it's not how we do things. We'll soak it up as best we can and go about our job. A bit of maturity from some key players has certainly helped."

The New Zealand team have three days off and, according to Hesson's observations, had finished the match without any major injuries.

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