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.
|Mutko returns to Russian Football Union|
|F1 return one of my greatest achievements – Kubica|
|I felt like Benjamin Button – Ibrahimovic misses ´fantastic´ Pogba and Man United team-mates|
|I should have faced Mourinho – Casillas rues Real Madrid fall-out|
|Kubica handed Williams drive for 2019|
|Hansen rings the changes for Italy clash|
|Zabaleta: West Ham need Nasri´s quality|
|Atletico Madrid v Barcelona: 2018-19 signings compared|
|Guardiola can repeat Barcelona success at Man City - Xavi|
|Harris not worried about previous Langer criticism|
|Blazers routed by Bucks, Warriors lose again|
|Nowitzki looking at December return after long recovery from ankle surgery|
|Australia, England and South Korea share World Cup of Golf lead|
|Warm welcome from Cavs ´means a lot´ to LeBron|
|LeBron helps Lakers past Cavs in Cleveland return|
|Guardiola: Premier League has improved me as a manager|
|WATCH: Cavs´ tribute video for LeBron does him justice in return to Cleveland|
|Harris, Tremain earn Australia Test spots|
|Mourinho would´ve won titles at Man City – Drogba|
|Cowboys WR Gallup set to play on Thursday after death of brother|
|Sutton re-signs with Rabbitohs for 2019|
|Chelsea legend Drogba confirms retirement at 40|
|England on track to be the world´s best in Tests - Root|
|Aubameyang ´trying to get fit´ for Bournemouth clash|
|Tenerife streak halted by PAOK as Bologna roll on|
|FIFA president Infantino pledges best ever World Cup in Qatar|
|India favourites after ´one of the worst years´ for Australia - Warne|
|Klaassen: Impossible to compare me to Kroos, Xavi|
|Guardiola eyeing future international job|
|Trubisky doubtful for Bears´ Thanksgiving game|
|O´Neill planning ´next adventure´ after leaving Republic of Ireland|
|Premier League: Brexit should not be used to weaken squads|
|16 balls, 14 boundaries, 74 runs - Shahzad steals show in T10 opener|
|WATCH: Patrice Evra plays with poultry in bizarre Thanksgiving message|
|Packers star Rodgers pledges $1m to California wildfire relief|
|Klitschko worried for boxing´s Olympic future|
|Lewandowski back in Bayern training as Davies joins new team-mates|
|Hogg fit for much-changed Scotland|
|Former Arsenal striker Bendtner faces 50 days in prison over taxi driver assault|
|Athletic extend Muniain contract to 2024|
|Kohli ready to move on after narrow defeat|
|PSG to wait for Neymar, Mbappe injury updates|
|Icardi hopeful of Messi return for Copa America|
|Cavs star Love expects to be out until 2019|
|Ricciardo terrified by Renault switch|
|Under-fire Taylor calls for PFA structure review|
|McLaren reveal one-off livery for Alonso´s last race|
|Samir Nasri training with West Ham amid reports of free transfer|
|Guardiola warned over derby clash comments|
|Stoinis sees Australia to T20 win against India|
|Modric not deserving of Ballon d´Or – Cavani|
|F1 Raceweek: Alonso ends on 312 races, Raikkonen a Ferrari great - Abu Dhabi GP in numbers|
|Neymar made a mistake leaving Barcelona for PSG, insists Edmilson|
|O´Neill and Keane leave Republic of Ireland after relegation|
|WATCH: Maxwell hits Spidercam with sliced shot in Australia-India T20|
|Rafinha wants Barca exit due to ´crazy´ Valverde selections – Mazinho|
|France to wear rainbow laces in support of Thomas following attack|
|You need to stop this – Cavani slams media over supposed Neymar feud|
|Anderson rested for final Test|
|Tite applauds Seedorf for Cameroon´s style of play|
|Griezmann not obsessed with Ballon d´Or|
|Neymar feels injury is ´nothing serious´|
|Durant says Green altercation won´t impact his free agency|
|Morris blasts drama surrounding Wizards: It´s messed up|
|Scaloni thrilled for Dybala, Icardi|
|Green´s last-second shot keeps Raptors atop East standings|
|Deschamps praises Griezmann for Giroud gesture|
|Warriors star Curry improving, still out at least three more games|
|Chile 4 Honduras 1: Sanchez, Vidal shine for La Roja|
|Argentina 2 Mexico 0: Icardi, Dybala score first international goals|