So the Black Caps lost the final of the T20 World Cup. Australia's batters chased superbly. They were too good on the night, and no way through them could be found.
But this one defeat, after a Black Caps campaign that incorporated excellent wins over India and England, should not deflect from recognition of the fact that New Zealand is at the moment the best team in world cricket.
Over the past three years, the Black Caps have won the World Test Championship and been runners-up in World Cups in both white-ball forms. They are ranked number one in Tests and one-dayers and fourth in T20s.
Since early November 2018 the Black Caps have won 15 Tests against 5 losses, 20 one-day internationals against 10 defeats and 24 T20s against 21 losses.
Less than a decade ago New Zealand occupied lowly positions in all forms of the game. It ranked seventh in the Test arena of the ten teams then involved, above only the West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
So what has happened? Two defining moments can be discerned: in Cape Town in 2013 and Sharjah in 2014. In the first of those, New Zealand had just been bowled out for 45 by South Africa in one of two innings defeats during a difficult tour. Things had reached a low, and pride and confidence were dented.
In the second, the team reacted to the tragedy of Philip Hughes after he was felled by a bouncer at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Hughes' death reminded everyone of the danger that lurked in cricket.
The common elements on these occasions were Black Caps' coach Mike Hesson and captain Brendon McCullum. Between them this pair authored a turnaround in New Zealand's playing approach.
In Cape Town, in McCullum's own words "looking for answers at the bottom of a bottle", he was joined in his hotel room by Hesson and the other coaches and they contemplated the team's stocks. The discussion focused on the way they approached the task of playing cricket.
In Sharjah the team wanted to pull out of a Test match against Pakistan that had already started.
They were persuaded not to, but they decided to proceed differently from then on: no sledging, no excessive appealing and few bouncers. They also batted with freedom, made their highest-ever Test score (690) and won by an innings. A difficult tour saw the Test series shared, no mean feat in the United Arab Emirates.
McCullum urged his players to play with verve, as he himself always did. Fielding enthusiastically became a byword of the Black Caps' approach: chases to the boundary were made by two or three fielders and tandem fielding became a feature.
Meanwhile the scourge that sledging had become - and which New Zealand teams had freely indulged in - was consigned to the past.
The Black Caps ever since have played with elan and spirit, but also with a smile. They have restored the notion of paying respect to their opponents, but without becoming soft.
Their approach has been one of "cheerful ruthlessness". They play hard but clean. The change has been worth making for its own sake, but the results have justified it too.
McCullum and Hesson have not guided the revival alone. Current coach Gary Stead has carried on Hesson's meticulous planning and Kane Williamson has been a worthy successor to McCullum. The players have bought in to the new approach and forged a new template.
Meanwhile NZ Cricket has invested in training facilities, grounds and coaching, built depth across the three formats and supported its players in participating and gaining experience in the various T20 leagues ꟷ even against the short-term national interest as regards the strength of touring squads.
Importantly, the board has avoided the pitfalls of player-coach-administrator relations, a minefield that lately has underlain many of the travails of Australian cricket. Player payments and player-coach interactions have been fraught in Australia.
The Black Caps, shining brightly, have become cricket's exemplar in terms of results and behaviour. We should glory in their achievements.
• Chas Keys is a dual New Zealand-Australian citizen living in Newcastle.