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.
|ICC confirms smart watches prohibited|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Champions League final in Opta numbers|
|Mane sends 300 Liverpool shirts to Senegal village for Champions League final|
|Arthur will not join Barcelona before December, Gremio insist|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Key battles in the Champions League final|
|Trout hits 15th HR, Bundy strikes out 14|
|Rockets star Paul dealing with hamstring injury|
|Does he only care about his hair? - Denmark coach Hareide slams Pogba, France|
|Rockets push Warriors to brink of elimination|
|World number 84 Kicker suspended for match-fixing|
|WATCH: Paul shimmies in Curry´s face|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Estudiantes into last 16 after thrilling win over Nacional|
|Ronaldo: Cristiano and Neymar would be good together at Madrid|
|Rockets honour Santa Fe victims, first responders at game five|
|Real Madrid rejected €150m offers for Asensio – agent|
|Marshall, Baldwin react strongly to Trump´s comments on NFL anthem stance|
|Nabura handed six-week ban for wild kick|
|Pedroia to return for Red Sox on Friday|
|Warriors´ Iguodala ruled out for game five against Rockets|
|Na leads as Spieth makes solid start at Colonial|
|James Harden, LeBron James headline 2017-18 All-NBA first team|
|Manchester United target Fred to decide future after World Cup|
|´Incredible´ Salah is like Messi, says Ronaldo|
|Salah a big candidate for Ballon d´Or - Muller|
|Message from coach keeping Masters champion Reed grounded|
|Anybody can really win it - Seles feels French Open is wide open this year|
|Mambo number 5! - Non-league star channels Lou Bega hit|
|Pakistan to stop wearing smart watches after ICC intervention - Hasan|
|Saha hails ´great man´ Ferguson as legendary Man Utd boss continues recovery|
|Emery´s depth of knowledge impressed Arsenal´s Gazidis|
|Conceicao extends Porto contract|
|Lomax impresses as Saints overrun Tigers|
|McIlroy in contention at Wentworth as Bjerregaard sets the early pace|
|Bad light calls time on Thiem, Wawrinka out in Geneva|
|Garitano in, Canales out at Real Sociedad|
|Caparros accepts new role at Sevilla|
|Pliskova downed by Larsson after drawing Serena in Paris|
|They´re using the anthem as fake patriotism - Warriors coach Kerr critical of NFL|
|Lyon win record fifth Women´s Champions League title|
|French Open 2018: Doing the unthinkable - the men most likely to topple Nadal|
|French Open 2018: How can Rafael Nadal be stopped?|
|Steve Smith named as marquee player for Global T20 Canada|
|Can Emre play? Yes he Can... and so can Milner|
|Liverpool working to help fans after flight cancellations|
|Abbas and Hasan torment sorry England|
|Xavi ´thrilled´ to sign two-year Al Sadd extension|
|Holtby extends Hamburg contract despite relegation|
|Nadal begins French Open defence against Dolgopolov|
|Serena drawn to play Pliskova in French Open first round|
|FA condemns assault of match official|
|Bologna confirm Donadoni departure|
|Yates lead halved in Giro d´Italia|
|Connacht turn to Friend|
|Scotland lose injured Dunbar for June tour|
|Spalletti in ´no rush´ to sign new Inter deal|
|Ricciardo and Red Bull dominate Monaco practice|
|Mauricio Pochettino signs new deal with Tottenham|
|Pochettino signs new deal with Tottenham|
|Istanbul to host 2020 Champions League final|
|Williams sisters given French Open wildcard|
|President Donald Trump praises NFL´s anthem stance|
|Buffon in consideration for Italy call, says Mancini|
|Roberts injured in Broncos win against Eels|
|Atletico complete move for Villarreal star Rodri|
|Ozil, Gundogan not playing politics, says Low|
|Valencia complete permanent Kondogbia signing|
|Fairytale ending could be in the script, says World Cup-bound Vardy|
|Milwaukee police apologise to Bucks´ Brown over tasering|
|Television, crosswords and Nintendo - Koscielny´s remedy to World Cup heartache|
|World Cup not an audition for Barca or Madrid, says Germany star Werner|