If New Zealand's failed Champions Trophy campaign was a "Whodunit?", detectives would soon be combing the batting performances of the country's one-day international all-rounders for clues.
The Black Caps were yesterday ousted from the tournament after Bangladesh turned a batting collapse into a thriller, chasing a target of 266 to win by five wickets with 16 balls to spare.
Mohammad Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan sculpted the highest Bangladesh one-day international partnership for any wicket against all countries, contributing 224 runs from 209 balls.
The Kiwis constructed platforms in each of their contests, mainly courtesy of captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, but a sense of dj vu prevailed with the failure to flourish in the death overs.
Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson and Mitchell Santner will need to deliver better under pressure if the Black Caps are to contest the knock-out phases of the 2019 World Cup, again hosted in England and Wales.
Of the trio's nine tournament innings, Neesham produced the top score of 23 off 24 balls against Bangladesh.
However, the argument is less about aggregate and average, and more about strike rate and momentum when they arrive at the crease.
Neesham struck at 98, Anderson 86 and Santner 74 across the tournament. In a perfect world, those figures would accelerate beyond 100 to add zest to each innings.
A washout robbed New Zealand of a conclusion against Australia, but they were originally dismissed for 291 in 45 of their 46 rain-reduced overs. They lost their third wicket at 216 in the 34th.
The last seven fell for 37 runs in six overs. Anderson, Neesham and Santner contributed 22 runs from as many balls.
At 158 for three in the 31st over against England, New Zealand were on track to chase 311.
They had crumbled 85 balls later for 223. Anderson, Neesham and Santner amassed 31 runs off 38 balls.
In the final match against Bangladesh the third wicket fell on 152 at the completion of the 30th over. The all-rounder trio added 37 runs from 43 balls as the innings plateaued towards 265 for eight.
Coach Mike Hesson found a mitigating factor in the England chase.
"We got ourselves into a position just ahead of England at 30 overs, thanks to the excellent batting of Martin [Guptill], Kane and Ross on a surface which became difficult hitting from ball one."
Few fans will deny the batting capabilities of Anderson, Neesham, Santner and the unused Colin de Grandhomme. Each can be useful, yet those qualities have been absent of late.
An upside to the tournament failure might be that the selectors can re-evaluate their World Cup strategy. Questions also linger whether New Zealand can afford the luxury of an aggressor such as 36-year-old wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi as opener.
The development of Tom Blundell or Glenn Phillips is likely to become a priority when they next take the field, scheduled at this stage for November.
Tom Latham, who is still only 25, might also warrant another look. Similarly, will Neil Broom be the future No5?
Logic suggests Tom Bruce might soon expand his international experience from T20s to ODIs.
Williamson: Not our best effort
The New Zealand innings against Bangladesh could have taken a different course if it had not been for Kane Williamson's self-inflicted run out with his score on 57, but the captain can hardly have done much more over three matches with 244 runs.
"We certainly didn't play our best cricket," Williamson said after the match. "We were in a position of strength with the bat, and if things were to go our way we know we have a lot of power in that middle, lower order.
"They are very talented. In such a short tournament, you want everyone firing and it wasn't to be. We left a few runs out there."
Between them, Neil Broom, James Neesham and Corey Anderson scored only 126 runs in nine innings with a top individual effort being Broom's 36 off 40 balls against the Tigers.
"Everyone sets out to perform their role as best they can and give to the side and play selfless cricket and that's certainly the attitude of the players," Williamson said.
"It [the loss] perhaps appears to highlight certain areas that you want to strengthen. But we know in the past those guys have been playing some really good cricket. So we back every one of them, and we need to use this tournament to get better."