The showpiece Twenty20 series of the summer didn't disappoint, with New Zealand and Australia playing themselves into a deciding match in Wellington. With a three-match T20 series against Bangladesh and two World Cups on the horizon, here are five takeaways from the past fortnight.
1. Lack of pace at the death (and Kyle Jamieson stuff)
It was one of the most glaring problems but also, potentially, the easiest fix.
Trent Boult was generally excellent in the final overs, Tim Southee, Jimmy Neesham and particularly Kyle Jamieson, all struggled.
While Southee and Neesham have cross-seam and pace-off variations, they can never be as effective if you don't have genuine "pace-on" varieties as the counter. On numerous occasions during the series we saw Australia's batsmen sit deep in the crease, identify the slower balls and simply muscle them over the rope.
A fit Lockie Ferguson alleviates this problem but it would be nice if another high-quality, 150k/ph-bowler fell off a tree.
On the unavoidable subject of Jamieson, it was a chastening series for the big man whose one wicket cost 175 runs at nearly two runs per ball.
Jamieson clearly has the physical tools to be an effective T20 player. What he doesn't have yet is the game craft. He might learn that at the IPL.
He's more valuable to New Zealand, however, focusing on being the best test player he can. They will be praying the big-money expectations don't compromise what has made him such an invaluable part of their red-ball set up.
2. The ghost of Colin Munro was hovering
Opening the batting in the shortest format of the game comes with certain luxuries, namely time, but also awesome responsibility. The worst crime an opener can commit is to suck up a lot of balls, particularly dot balls, and then get out.
So it wasn't Tim Seifert's 27 runs across the series that was the issue, but the fact it took 43 balls to score them. At times he looked burdened by the responsibility and by game five he had been replaced at the top of the order by Devon Conway.
Seifert will come again. He's too talented not to, but at the moment he would benefit from batting down the order where he can hit without the consequences of failure.
The Conway-Martin Guptill partnership was a roaring success but it also pays to remember there's a guy with three T20I hundreds who's just come off a decent Big Bash campaign.
3. Mitchell Santner is the cog around which the bowling effort revolves
The one game the left-armer missed was the one game New Zealand had no answers to Australia's onslaught.
His economy rate of 6.25 across the series was outstanding and better than anybody not named Mark Chapman (who bowled just two overs). He didn't get the wickets his spin twin Ish Sodhi did (six against 13), but if anything he was more effective in gumming up the Australian batting works.
The key to his success is clever variations in pace and his ability to adjust for the surface. He can bowl in the powerplay and through the middle with equal effect.
At a World Cup in India, Kane Williamson will be the first name on the team sheet, Santner second.
4. New Zealand's fielding goes from outfield to outhouse
One of the reasons the plug was pulled on Ross Taylor's T20I career was that with batsmen increasingly adept at using all 360 degrees, it was getting harder to hide his lack of pace and mobility in the field.
After the fielding effort across these five games he can feel persecuted.
The wind in Wellington obviously made things trickier than usual but it's hard to remember the last time New Zealand was this sloppy, particularly in the outfield. Catches were dropped or didn't go to hand that usually would have, and twos were taken where one should have been the lot, and boundaries were leaked that would normally have been saved.
The slip in standards wasn't as noticeable in the infield (although the sure-handed Sodhi changes direction with the elasticity of a cargo ship in a swimming pool), but in T20 it is the outfield where games are often won or lost.
5. Umpire's call must change
In game five, Williamson was struck on the pads by Riley Meredith. It didn't look like a great shout in real time and sure enough replays suggested the lacquer on the ball would have scraped the varnish of the wickets to create just enough friction for the bail to be released from its groove.
In game three, Southee struck Aaron Finch on the pads. It looked a great shout and sure enough replays suggested the ball would have thudded into the leg stump with enough force to send the pole cartwheeling past the keeper.
OK, so there's exaggeration for effect in play here, but not by much. What is inarguable is one was not out and one was; problem was they were the wrong way around.
Everybody knows the "umpire's call" facility is there only to protect bruised egos but it has the opposite effect: it makes them look silly.
Generally speaking, the umpiring is so good these days that they don't require protection. Compared to even a generation ago, their decision-making is astonishingly accurate. They do all this while high-definition broadcast and associated gizmos throw every decision into the sharpest relief.
They're allowed to get the odd one wrong and when they do the technology should step up to save them.
Umpire's call on LBW decisions is plain stupid. The ICC needs to bite the bullet and decide how much of the stumps to award the batsmen for margin of error and stick with it.
The same ball with the same result that can be both out and in is as confusing as this sentence is designed to make it seem.