Kane Williamson has hailed New Zealand's performance in what he says was close to a "must-win" game against England in the tri-nations Twenty20 international series.
The Black Caps beat England by 12 runs in Wellington on Tuesday, thanks to top-scorer Williamson's 72 and 65 from opener Martin Guptill.
The visitors had won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat, leaving the skipper satisfied at his team's efforts on what appeared to be a challenging surface.
"Obviously very important in the context of the series, in some ways a must-win against a very strong England side," he said.
"We had to play good cricket today. It was important we assessed the wicket, [it] played a lot better than it looked and we got off to a good start."
Williamson had not made a Twenty20 half-century since January 2017, failing to past 50 in his subsequent nine attempts in the shortest format.
And it was a relief for the captain to make a major contribution in the contest between two winless sides at Westpac Stadium.
"You always want more runs, you always train hard, that's the focus," he said.
"There's been occasions recently when you want to contribute but it wasn't to be.
"There were enough partnerships today and the two debutants played nice cameos."
Of New Zealand's bowling attack, who restricted England to 184-9 in reply, he added: "[I] thought the guys stuck at it really well, Trent [Boult] was outstanding at the death, but we knew it would be a challenge and the guys stepped up to the mark today."
Captaining England in the absence of the injured Eoin Morgan, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler acknowledged his team's failure to suppress the scoring of Williamson and Guptill proved costly.
"They put us under pressure and we tried to find way to break that partnership. We dragged it back pretty well but they got too many," he said.
"We probably didn't get those cameos lower down, myself coming in and failing and that made a difference."
England now need Australia, who have already reached the final, to defeat New Zealand on Friday if they are to have any hope of making it to the decider in Auckland next week.
"That's what we need now, so we'll wait and see what happens," Buttler said.
|Southgate praises Maguire´s performance|
|The only thing Kane hasn´t done is score in August - Southgate|
|Fenerbahce part ways with Kocaman|
|Celtics forward Hayward expected to be fully cleared by August|
|Nationals acquire closer Herrera from Royals|
|Angels star Ohtani to be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks|
|Crisis club Sporting appoint Mihaljovic|
|Fekir could still join Liverpool this summer - agent|
|Brathwaithe and weather thwart Sri Lanka|
|Southgate bemused by England-Tunisia penalty decisions|
|Kane disappointed by refereeing decisions despite England win|
|Koepka backed by coach to win more majors|
|Rybarikova ousts Pliskova in Birmingham, seeds fail in Mallorca|
|Kane: England players had flies in our mouths|
|Lemar signs Atletico deal|
|Griezmann renews Atletico Madrid contract after rejecting Barcelona|
|Captain Kane comes good to heighten England´s aura of optimism|
|Wawrinka and Cilic cruise through at Queen´s|
|Saudi Arabia team safe after aircraft´s ´technical failure´|
|Courtois: Panama made unnecessary tackles|
|Thiem makes winning start on Halle grass|
|Tunisia 1 England 2: Captain Kane saves Three Lions|
|Trotz resigns as Capitals coach after Stanley Cup win|
|You´ll see the best of Hazard later - Eden predicts strong World Cup|
|Mickelson made statement over ´outrageous´ conditions, says Cowen|
|France will grow again - former coach Saint-Andre sees positive signs for Les Bleus|
|Lewandowski sets an example - Nawalka talks up Poland star|
|Runners and Ryders: Koepka shines at Shinnecock Hills as European list sees major changes|
|Mature and patient Belgium show success could be on horizon|
|Salah facing fitness test ahead of Russia v Egypt|
|South Korea´s Park has suspected hamstring tear|
|Sweden hero Granqvist full of praise for VAR|
|Iran v Spain: Isco impressed with Hierro´s seamless adaptation|
|Belgium 3 Panama 0: Mertens magic sets up Group G win|
|Jorginho has ´five-year Man City deal waiting´|
|Wolves sign Portugal goalkeeper Patricio|
|Pekerman criticises Barcelona´s treatment of Yerry Mina|
|Neymar misses Brazil World Cup training|
|FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings over alleged Mexico homophobic chants|
|Cisse hoping to be a pioneer for black and African coaches|
|World Cup over for Croatia´s Kalinic|
|Defiant Jones confident of upturn in England fortunes|
|Pogba a natural leader for France - Matuidi|
|Frampton to face Jackson as Fury continues comeback in Belfast|
|Team effort needed for Japan to stop James, says Nishino|
|Di Francesco extends Roma contract|
|It was a normal challenge - Switzerland equaliser fine by Shaqiri|
|Hamilton hopes to avoid ´boring´ French Grand Prix|
|Coutinho expects more Neymar punishment at World Cup|
|Cisse hails Mane as ´one of the best players in the world´|
|Forsberg falls flat as Granqvist proves Sweden´s hero|
|Sweden 1 South Korea 0: Granqvist´s VAR-assisted penalty settles tight game|
|Nishino concerned Japan players affected by Osaka earthquake|
|Isco pleased with Lopetegui´s Real Madrid appointment|
|Hazard hints at Real Madrid interest|
|Wasps disappointed as Wilson joins Scotland backroom staff|
|Hierro has full confidence in De Gea|
|Russia will stop Salah - Cherchesov|
|Allen signs new four-year Stoke contract|
|England issue update over injured duo Stokes and Woakes|
|Mancini leaves door open for Buffon´s Italy return|
|Alli calls for England to be ruthless in World Cup opener|
|Tahir rested as Proteas call up uncapped duo|
|Uruguay v Saudi Arabia: Centurion Suarez seeks World Cup redemption|
|Portugal v Morocco: Hat-trick hero Ronaldo hunts stricken Atlas Lions|
|Argentina didn´t draw because of Messi´s missed penalty - Maradona|
|Wenger heaps praise on France star Kante|
|If VAR helps referees, I´m not against that – Australia´s Sainsbury|
|Kimmich questions Germany mentality after shock defeat|
|Roberts to leave Warrington Wolves|