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It was a record day for Canada and New Zealand at the Cricket World Cup.

Captain John Davison set a personal World Cup best for the fastest 50 and New Zealand wicketkeeper/batsman Brendon McCullum established a new tournament record for the quickest half century in Canada's 114-run loss to the Kiwis Thursday.

With the victory target of 364 well beyond their reach, Canada followed outgoing coach Andy Pick's request to occupy the crease and score as many runs as possible. They eventually reached a record 249-9 with four balls remaining, surpassing their previous tournament-best 228 against England last Sunday.

Pick said he was pleased with the team's overall performance even though Canada did not win a match.

"We came with some different milestones to achieve against the big boys," Pick said. "We knew we were not going to win the World Cup. We were looking to put some stats on the board and to have good periods of games where we compete with the big boys.

"The first game against Kenya was very disappointing. That was not the sort of cricket we are capable of playing and after that it was a case of us putting up some good performances against the two big lads (England and New Zealand) and show people what we can do."

In Thursday's other game, the Netherlands posted an eight-wicket win over Scotland in Group A. Like Canada, both teams are going home.

Davison, who scored the third fastest 50 off 25 balls in the last World Cup against New Zealand, repaid Pick for inserting him back to the top of the order by registering a lightning 52 off 31 balls, including five boundaries off medium-pacer Michael Mason in the fourth over.

After sharing an opening stand of 82 in 10 overs with Geoff Barnett, Canada's best first-wicket partnership in the World Cup, Davison lost his wicket when he tried to pull Mason over mid-wicket, but instead scooped the ball up for the bowler to take an easy catch.

New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming said he was not surprised by Davison's belligerent innings.

"We saw what he can do in the last World Cup," he said. "He's a good hitter."

Dropped at 15 and 22, the left-handed Barnett edged a Daniel Vettori quicker left-arm slider to McCullum when he was on 40 off 72 balls.

Desperately short of runs in the World Cup, wicketkeeper/batsman Ashish Bagai and middle-order batsman Ian Billcliff put on 78 in 14.2 overs for the fourth wicket.

Bagai, who was intent on producing a good score, reached 37 off 64 balls before he was bowled by Vettori while Billcliff played some splendid off-side shots in an elegant innings of 50 off 56 balls that ended when he played inside a Daryl Tuffey delivery that shattered his stumps.

Canada lost its remaining five wickets for 48 runs in 13.3 overs. That was not before Sunil Dhaniram was forced to retire hurt in the 46th over when he missed a Jacob Oram full toss that he picked up late and was painfully hit on the right wrist. He was taken to the hospital for X-rays.

With pride on the line after successive losses to Kenya and England sealed Canada's far-fetched aspiration of advancing to the Super 8 series, the national side needed to produce a super effort just to make the contest close against the tournament's best all-round team and favourites to clinch its first World Cup title.

Winners of its last five One-Day International matches, the New Zealanders - without main strike bowlers Shane Bond and James Franklin who they rested, and elegant young batsman Ross Taylor who is suffering from a hamstring injury - advanced to the Super 8, where they will meet the West Indies in their first game in Antigua.

The winner of the last group match between England and Kenya on Saturday will join the Kiwis in the next round.

Opener Lou Vincent, the lone New Zealand batsman short of runs in the World Cup after scoring ducks against England and Kenya, devoured the Canadian bowling on his way to his third century in 97 One-Day Internationals.

He scored 101 off 117 balls after sharing a huge opening stand of 142 in 21.3 overs with Fleming who recorded 66 off 67 balls before succumbing to left-arm spinner Kevin Sandher, who bowled well under the circumstances to finish with 2-58 off 10 overs, including the wicket of Peter Fulton, who he trapped leg before for 47.

He would have picked up a third wicket off his last delivery had Anderson Cummins, running around the long-on boundary, not spilled a catch off the bat of McCullum in the 46th over.

"I thought Kevin bowled very well today and it's always good to have a Canadian-bred player doing well," said Davison.

British Columbia-born Sandher, who made his World Cup debut Thursday, was one of two changes to the Canadian side that played against England last Sunday. He replaced middle-order batsman Desmond Chumney while medium-pacer Henry Osinde, who conceded 28 runs in his first two overs and 45 in the four very disappointing overs he bowled, returned to the side for George Codrington.

McCullum capitalized on the missed opportunity by punishing the Canadians bowlers for 51 runs off just 20 balls with five huge sixes while Oram belted 35 off 27 balls as New Zealand reached a massive 363-5 in 50 overs, the tournament's fourth highest team total.

All-rounder Abdool Samad again proved that he's one of the best Canadian outfielders by grasping a low catch while tumbling over on his stomach to dismiss the hard-hitting Craig McMillan off Davison whose two wickets cost 67 runs off 10 overs.

Samad, who was introduced into the bowling attack in the 12th over with the score at 56 to replace left-handed medium-pacer Umar Bhatti who suffered a lower back injury and left the field after bowling three balls in his sixth over, took the other Kiwi wicket.
 
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