The Black Caps position at or near the top of this World Cup table owes itself to a number of factors, none more so than their love affair with the dot ball.
Yes, the humble dot ball, that most charmless of cricket's myriad mini-dramas, has emerged as the key weapon in the race to the World Cup: specifically, how to bowl more and how to face less.
Statistics compiled by Wellington-based firm Dot Loves Data – a company named after their founders' love of the dot ball – has revealed that 85 per cent of matches at this World Cup have been won by the team that has bowled the highest proportion of dot balls.
This marries up perfectly with the fact that since 1999, 84 per cent of one-day internationals have been won by the team who delivers the most dot balls. At the 2015 World Cup the figures were starker, with a 94 per cent success rate for the team with the most dots in the bowling bag of tricks.
The popular narrative of one-day cricket is that the major currency is boundaries, closely followed by early wickets.
The statistics do not bear this out. Although fours and sixes are clearly helpful, at this World Cup you still have a 30 per cent chance of winning even if you find the rope on fewer occasions than your opposition.
Early wickets are, more often than not, a result of dot-ball pressure (although there are clearly exceptions to this rule, like when Martin Guptill and Colin Munro were both yorked by Sheldon Cottrell first ball in Manchester over the weekend).
With every team bar India having played six rounds, New Zealand were optimally placed on the dot balls charts.
Of every 100 balls the Black Caps have bowled at this World Cup, 53 have been dots, easily outstripping the next-best India and South Africa, on 47 apiece.
New Zealand's dot balls faced figure, 46 from 100, is only enough for a midtable position - England and Australia lead the way with 40 - but their difference of +7 puts them back to the top.
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If you're still not convinced about the power of the dot, consider this: the top four positions on the table last night ahead of the all-important England v Australia clash were: NZ, Australia, India and England.
The top four placings on the dot ball differential table: NZ, England, India and Australia.
The Black Caps have benefited by having two bowlers in the top five at the World Cup, a list headed by Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep with 57 per 100 balls bowled. Matt Henry's largesse against Carlos Brathwaite can be forgiven when measured against his 56 dots per 100, with Trent Boult third-equal with Pat Cummins on 55.
New Zealand's least successful dot-ball bowlers are left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, at 48 per 100, and Jimmy Neesham at an even 50, but they're pictures of parsimony compared to the likes of Pakistan's offie Mohammad Hafeez whose dot-ball rate is just 32 per cent.
To contrast that with the importance of boundaries, New Zealand has hit a four or six every 10 balls, good enough for just sixth.
The dot ball, that unloved and unremarkable thing, is king.
Seeing as you asked, the time of the match and style of bowling most likely to deliver cherished dot balls: left-arm fast bowlers operating in the first five overs have, since 1999, managed to deliver 64 per cent of their deliveries without being harmed by batsmen.
The least effective are right-arm offspinners operating at the death, who manage to stymie scoring just 26 per cent of the time.
Overall, since 1999, 52 per cent of balls delivered in ODIs have been dots. So next time your child, friend or significant other tries to hassle you about the amount of cricket you're watching with the clichéd "but nothing ever happens" line, you can accurately reply with: "You're only half right."