"Sometimes the results go your way, sometimes they don't, but as long as you're playing good cricket, and you're in the game all the time - that's what matters."

India captain Virat Kohli cut a content figure when offering that quote after his side's four-wicket defeat to New Zealand at Seddon Park last night, and while he was reflecting on his own side's performance, the Black Caps would be unlikely to disagree with his opinion.

After three last-gasp defeats in the Twenty20 series where they were not only in the game, but in control of it until some late-game catastrophes, the Black Caps finally saw the results go their way, and in doing so, once again displayed just how slim the margins are between glory and despair.

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Ross Taylor was the Black Caps' hero, with a masterful unbeaten 109 from 84 balls as the Black Caps chased down 348 to record their largest run chase in ODI history.

Ross Taylor celebrates his century. Photo / Photosport
Ross Taylor celebrates his century. Photo / Photosport

It was a significant turnaround from the Twenty20 series, where Taylor had helped guide the Black Caps to the brink of victory, only to get out late in the piece on three occasions. One of those saw him dismissed on the last ball with the scores tied, and Taylor – who was also dropped on 10 last night, reflected on how luck can be such a factor in the shorter formats.

"One I inside edged [onto the stumps] with one run to get – today I think [Mohammed] Shami bowled the same ball and I inside edged it down to fine leg or the keeper – it's small margins. It could have been totally two different results, but that's cricket, and I guess that's why we love the game, but those little things probably just went our way, when it didn't in the Twenty20s."

That perspective is valuable, and possibly offers an insight into just how the Black Caps managed to bounce back. While some observers outside the camp were irate over their late-game meltdowns, the Black Caps argued that their defeats – the two Super Overs losses, especially – were largely the result of bad luck, and that once that luck turned, they'd be able to get across the line.

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While Taylor admitted the thought of another last-gasp dire defeat crossed his mind – how could it not - when Colin de Grandhomme was run out, leaving the Black Caps needing 17 runs from 24 balls with four wickets in hand, he never believed that there would be a long-lasting effect from the bizarre scenes in the Twenty20 series.

"All we talked about was that there were new personnel coming in, and there was no hangover for them. I'm sure it must play on your mind a little bit, you're a human, and towards the end there we lost a couple of wickets, but at the same time – our last [ODI] game was the World Cup final, a lot of guys have played in a lot of pressure situations. There was probably a little bit more experience in this side than in the Twenty20 side, and I think that showed."

Two of those players who weren't in the Twenty20 side also shone for the Black Caps. Henry Nicholls set the tone at the top of the order with 78 from 82 balls, before stand-in skipper Tom Latham blasted 69 from 48 balls as part of a 138-run stand from a mere 80 balls.

Henry Nicholls played a key role for the Black Caps. Photo / Photosport
Henry Nicholls played a key role for the Black Caps. Photo / Photosport

Taylor credited both with putting him in a position to play the ultimately match-winning hand.


"I had a lot of help out there – the way Henry Nicholls and [Martin Guptill] started, Tom Latham – it's not easy to come out at five, and if anything, what made that chase a little easier for us was right/left hand combinations, we knew there was one short boundary and I thought we were able to access and use that to our advantage. There were a lot of cameos and it was nice to finish it early and not take it into that last over."

Kohli was left with few complaints, acknowledging that the Black Caps were the better side.

"I think they batted outstandingly well, we thought [347] was good enough, especially with the start we got with the ball. We were patient enough to get a couple of wickets and got a run out in there as well, but Ross is the most experienced batsmen they have, and Tom's innings is something I think took the game away from us.

"Those two in the middle overs were simply unstoppable."