It was not so much a defeat as a humbling that England suffered at the hands of the World Cup co-hosts New Zealand today in Wellington. England lost by eight wickets to the Black Caps in rapid-time, as their skipper Brendon McCullum feasted on their bowling attack after his compatriot Tim Southee had ripped the heart out of their batsmen. A second hammering in their opening two ODI World Cup matches is hardly a ringing endorsement for either the application of the players nor the leadership skills of their current captain, Eoin Morgan. This was their joint heaviest ODI defeat and leaves them perilously close to exiting the tournament even before it reaches the quarter-final stages.

On a decent enough batting wicket, Morgan won the toss and decided to take first knock. England were progressing along steadily at 104-3, when they somehow managed to slump to 123 all out by the end from just 33.2 overs. Their only real contributor with the bat was Yorkshireman Joe Root with a typically plucky 46. Captain Morgan at least avoided the black mark of another duck, but will hardly have been best-pleased with just 17 runs before he fell to the spin of Daniel Vettori. Southee utilised the moderately swinging conditions to the hilt, recording a marvellous 7-33 spell from just 9 overs. It ripped the guts out of the England batting and provided a simple enough task for the batsmen of his country to hammer home the devastating defeat to their visitors.

There was little likelihood of the tourists being able to defend such a small total, especially in New Zealand's backyard. The Kiwis seemed to take great delight in finishing the match off in super-quick time though, with McCullum particularly anxious it seemed for a swift conclusion to the match. His 18-ball fifty (the fastest in World Cup history) was finally ended on 77 after just 25 balls.

Opening with Martin Guptill they put on a partnership of 105 for the first wicket, before both fell in rapid succession to Chris Woakes, the only bowler to provide any crumbs of comfort for the travelling "Barmy Army". His 2-8 from 3 overs was more in keeping with what was required, than the shocking 0-49 from just 2 overs by Steven Finn, that included four consecutive sixes from McCullum.

Even the usually reliable James Anderson and Stuart Broad suffered in the face of McCullum's onslaught, as the ball flew to all parts of the ground. It was soon all over in 12.2 overs as the hosts reached 125-2.

The BBC Cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew described England's performance as "almost too bad to put into words" and that the team "will feel utterly embarrassed" after losing in the manner that they did. Former Test batsman Geoffrey Boycott went even further, stating that England had been "slaughtered" and that it represented "one of England's worst days ever in one-day cricket" in his view.

Morgan tried to take a calmer approach, saying that he didn't see a reason "to panic and make three or four changes" for their next pool game, although many will be calling for just that.

Unfortunately, many of the players that might have proved useful in such a situation seem to be elsewhere, rather than available for selection. Top-class ODI players such as Kevin Pietersen and Ben Stokes were not selected for the touring party.

All eyes will now turn to England's third match of the World Cup on Monday, a 'must-win' game against Scotland. Lose that one as well and they will have virtually no chance of progressing further in the tournament, and even more questions will be asked of their team selection and captaincy choice.