The top sides tend to play their best towards the end of a tournament but in the case of the New Zealand women's cricketers, they saved their worst until last.
The White Ferns lost to England by four wickets in last night's playoff for third and fourth at the women's World Cup. It was their third-straight defeat on the back of Super Six losses to the West Indies and England and they leave the tournament in India with a heavy sense of disappointment after targeting at least a place in the final.
New Zealand haven't won a one-day World Cup since 2000 when they triumphed on home soil and they finished runner-up in three consecutive World Cups across both forms of the limited overs game in 2009 and 2010.
"I think the last three games, we probably played our worst cricket which is what we will probably remember from the tournament,'' captain Suzie Bates said. "The game against West Indies, where we lost, hurt us badly and we didn't play well enough.''
The West Indies, who have been the surprise packets at the World Cup, play Australia in Sunday night's (NZT) final. Australia will be favourites, even though the West Indies won the Super Six match between the two sides.
New Zealand posted 220- for eight in their 50 overs against England, with Amy Satterthwaite following up her century against the same opposition two days previously with 85 from 95 balls.
She didn't really find any significant support, with four players achieving scores of 20 or more , and in the end they were about 30 runs short of a challenging total.
Bates chipped in with 21, taking her overall tally for the tournament to 401 runs at an average of 67.83, and she still holds an 82-run lead over Stafanie Taylor (West Indies) as the tournament's leading runscorer.
England were largely comfortable throughout their chase thanks to an unbeaten 106 from English captain Charlotte Edwards who scored a record-equalling eighth one-day international ton in what might be her last World Cup game.
Sarah Taylor (26), Lydia Greenway (31) and Arran Brindle (27) helped England to 199-3 and, although they lost three wickets in three runs, cruised to the target with three overs to spare.
Opening bowler Sian Ruck was tidy with 2-20 off her 10 overs and Lucy Doolan finished with 3-50.