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.
|Harden says Carmelo will ´be a good fit´ for Rockets|
|Morata: I never considered Chelsea exit|
|Gavrilova kicks off title defence in New Haven|
|Lopetegui pleased with Bale and Real Madrid after LaLiga opener|
|It´s a very special moment – Djokovic revels in Golden Masters achievement|
|Sorrentino thanks Ronaldo for support after injury|
|Twins place Santana on DL with finger injury|
|Yankees´ Gregorius suffers ´pretty significant´ heel bruise|
|Snedeker ends PGA Tour drought with Wyndham Championship win|
|Spalletti unconcerned despite Inter´s underwhelming start|
|Djokovic makes history with Masters clean sweep in Cincinnati|
|Real Madrid 2 Getafe 0: Bale gives Lopetegui first LaLiga win|
|IndyCar driver Wickens taken to hospital after crash|
|Sherman calls for NFL to scrap ´idiotic´ helmet rule|
|Sassuolo 1 Inter 0: New-look Nerazzurri given early reality check|
|Hughton: Shock United win does not alter scale of Brighton´s task|
|Navas keeps place as Courtois waits on Madrid debut|
|Ndidi signs long-term Leicester City contract|
|Pandya tears through feeble England to put India in command|
|Alonso creates motorsport history with victory at Silverstone|
|Kovacic: Chelsea and Sarri believe in me|
|Brighton loss a big lesson for United – Pogba|
|Mistakes hit United´s confidence - Mourinho|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 3 Manchester United 2: Murray lifts Seagulls to another win over Mourinho|
|Quickfire Moon treble sets up Rhinos win|
|Manchester City celebrate win with Silva´s son|
|Brentford 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0: Maupay stars as Bees buzz by Owls|
|Guardiola delighted with fit and firing Aguero|
|Waring marks 200th event with maiden title in Gothenburg|
|Guardiola dismisses Mourinho´s ´disrespectful´ accusation|
|Hulkenberg proud to survive in F1´s pay driver era|
|It´s here, it´s real, get on with it - Dyche dismisses Europa League excuse|
|Grujic agrees Liverpool extension, joins Hertha on loan|
|Martial starts as Lukaku, Young return for Manchester United|
|Fury-Wilder to be staged in November or December - Warren|
|Manchester City 6 Huddersfield Town 1: Aguero hits hat-trick as champions triumph|
|Burnley 1 Watford 3: Hornets end away day woes as Deeney leads destructive display|
|McFarland cleared to leave Scotland and join Ulster|
|Simeone wants ´only the best´ for Filipe Luis amid PSG links|
|PSG signing Boateng rated ´50-50´ by Bayern president|
|Cipriani a positive influence, insists Gloucester head coach|
|Bayer Leverkusen´s Bailey signs contract extension|
|Jesus and Aguero start for City as Mahrez misses out|
|Federer unsure what to expect from Djokovic duel|
|Chievo goalkeeper suffers broken nose, whiplash in Ronaldo collision|
|Simmons lauds influence of ´big brother´ LeBron|
|PSG´s Cavani selected by Uruguay as Coito fills in for Tabarez|
|Starc leads tributes after ´leader of the pack´ Johnson retires|
|Hazard confirms he is staying at Chelsea this month|
|Liverpool´s Firmino dreaming of Premier League title glory|
|Raiders rock the Roosters as NRL´s top-four battle hots up|
|Erasmus demands improved Springboks|
|Athletics pull even with Astros in AL West|
|Mercurial quick Johnson retires from cricket|
|MLS Review: Royer leaves it late for Red Bulls, Dallas bounce back|
|Crotty concussed, Folau injured|
|DFB president Grindel sorry Ozil felt ´deserted´|
|Busch picks up first win of season in Night Race|
|NASCAR results at Bristol: Kurt Busch picks up first win of season in Night Race|
|Woakes welcomes back ´big-game player´ Stokes|
|´Genius´ Messi still amazes Valverde|
|All Blacks, Springboks await Namibia at Rugby World Cup|
|Federer to face Djokovic after Goffin withdraws|
|Rain halts plays at Wyndham Championship|
|De Gea will extend contract soon, says Mourinho|
|Halep to meet Bertens in Cincinnati final|
|Frampton set for Warrington fight after dominant Windsor Park win|
|Messi makes LaLiga history with Barcelona´s 6000th goal|
|MC Alger defeat throws quarter-final chase wide open|
|Barcelona 3 Deportivo Alaves 0: Messi´s milestone goal sets up victory|