By Liam Napier in Birmingham

Flirting with fire throughout this World Cup, the Black Caps were always going to be burnt at some stage.

Like an inquisitive toddler repeatedly told not to touch the furnace, the Black Caps keep creeping back towards the flame, making the same mistakes, revealing the same batting frailties. They now have their first scar of this tournament to prove it.

Only so often could New Zealand dance with defeat and not expect to fall.


Miraculous escapes, those witnessed against Bangladesh, South Africa and the West Indies, make for great theatre, sure. But they are not