For the first time in this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, a team batting first did not score 300 or more, but there was no slowing down the New Zealand juggernaut as the hosts got the better of a gallant Scotland in Dunedin on Tuesday.
On a win-the-toss-and-bowl-first pitch, Brendon McCullum sent Scotland in to bat, and Trent Boult (6-1-21-2) and Tim Southee (8-3-35-2) did the rest, smashing through the Associate side's top order to pretty much end the match as a contest.
At 12/4, there is only so much you can do, and to Scotland's great credit, they found a much-needed partnership in the shape of Matt Machan and Richie Berrington, all of 97 runs worth, but once Corey Anderson (5-1-18-3) dismissed both of them, it was the turn of the masterful Daniel Vettori (8.2-1-24-3) to clean up the tail.
Scotland eventually finished on 142 all out in 36.2 overs, and New Zealand were made to sweat a little to chase down the small total, losing seven wickets on their way to 146 in 24.5 overs.
The result, of course, was never in doubt, but the Kiwis, in search of a quick end to the match – the Black Caps play England in three days – they kept losing wickets as Scotland, never giving up, plugged away.
The chase did not begin in the "smash-bang thank you ma'am" manner that the crowd in Dunedin would have wanted form their skipper Brendon McCullum and fellow opener Martin Guptill, with the latter falling in just the third over. It was good bowling from Ian Wardlaw, who kept the length right up there and found the outside edge of Guptill (17, 14b, 4x4).
So, time for McCullum and Kane Williamson, one of the most in-form batsmen in world cricket right now, to go smash-bang right? Not quite, as McCullum, lucky to survive after being dropped in the over after Gupttil's dismissal, fell soon enough, off another outside edge, with Wardlaw (9.5-0-57-3) again picking up the wicket.
New Zealand went into the break on 63/2 in 9 overs, confident that the match was wrapped up, but Ross Taylor fell in just the second over after resumption as Majid Haq picked up his wicket.
Williamson (38, 45b, 6x4) and Grant Elliott 29 (31b, 5x4) put on 40 together, to take New Zealand to the brink, before a flurry of wickets brought those smiles back to the faces of the Scottish players again.
However, it was just a matter of when rather than if, and that when came along when Vettori edged one over the slips for a boundary.
Earlier, it was quite simple really – Boult, the man of the match, takes two wickets in two balls in the second over, then Southee does the same in the fifth over, then Anderson breaks a big partnership, and picks up a couple more, before Vetorri wraps up the innings.
Boult, fresh from going for big bucks in the IPL 2015 Player Auction, and Southee are two of the best in the world when it comes to new-ball bowling, particularly in helpful conditions, and Boult sent Calum Macleod and Hamish Gardiner packing in two balls with in-dippers that the duo could do little about.
Southee then had Kyle Coetzer caught at midwicket – unlucky for Coetzer, because he absolutely smashed the delivery -- before another in-swinger sent skipper Preston Mommsen packing.
Machan and Berrington, though refused to lay down and play dead, and the duo put on a terrific partnership to at least avoid unwanted World Cup records.
Once Anderson picked Machan up in the 28th over, it was a quick enough fold as New Zealand eased to their second victory in as many World Cup games.
England now await the hosts, and with New Zealand in this mood, Eoin Morgan and his side will not be looking too forward to the match, especially after their heavy defeat in the opener to Australia.