Dion Nash was one of New Zealand's most combative cricketers...but even he was almost rooting for Australian Marcus Stoinis.

Commentator Nash told Radio Sport that it was "weird that we could like an Australian" after a stunning unbeaten 146 by Stoinis fell agonisingly short of taking Australia to victory in the ODI at Eden Park.

"There was a bit of feeling sorry for an Australian," said Nash.

"There was something incredibly likeable about him. He was humble when he got to his 50, then 100. It was a bit weird.


"Then he did the right thing by not winning the match."

Listen: Dion Nash on the Radio Sport Breakfast

Nash, a former selector, said Eden Park and its short boundaries could be very difficult to defend when a batsman like Stoinis got established.

"The boundaries are so hittable...the pressure goes onto the fielding team," he said.

Coach Mike Hesson echoed that, and said the surprise factor with Stoinis - playing his second ODI - made the job tougher.

"He had a pretty poor Big Bash but he's done pretty well in the IPL," Hesson told Mike Hosking on NewstalkZB.

"We knew a little bit about him but we got hit to areas of the park we were a little unhappy about.

"But that's also the nature of Eden Park. If someone gets in and has a bit of power, it is difficult to contain.

Listen: Mike Hesson on the Mike Hosking Breakfast

"We were in a strong position but of the grounds in the world, if you need 100 off 10 overs Eden Park is the place to have a crack at it."

Hesson was delighted with a victory over "the world's best" and pointed to a record of 11 wins from 11 at home this summer.

"The heart rate was getting high (at the end)," said Hesson.

"Eden Park has has some great spectacles over the past few years. It was a great game.

"Beating Australia is difficult and whenever you do you gain pleasure and confidence."