'I'm devastated with that loss' - Vettori
The optimism of a fortnight ago was all but absent in the New Zealand camp, with Daniel Vettori chastising his batsmen for a poorly planned run-chase and describing Sunday night's Twenty20 defeat as "devastating". The visitors began their one-day tour of Australia with two victories, but closed out with disappointing losses in the final two completed 50-over matches and a tight one-run loss in the Twenty20.
Asked to provide his thoughts on the tour on Sunday night, Vettori was blunt. "After tonight I'm devastated with that performance, so I'm not in a great space, to be honest," he said. "We should've won the game easily, it's as simple as that. It was one of the poorer run chases I've seen. I'm devastated with that loss ... [and] the recognition of the situation, only chasing 150 on a pretty good deck. We got off to a poor start, with [Nathan Bracken] bowling a maiden and not being able to turn over the strike at some pretty crucial stages."
Bracken proved Australia's most effective bowler, despite going wicketless, and credited part of his success to modern technology. Bracken was wired up to Channel Nine as part of the network's coverage, and listened closely to the commentators' assessment of the final over.
"Having the commentators in my ear telling me exactly how many they needed and trying to work out what I was bowling was a real help," he said. "I was alright until I was half-way in and I could hear the commentators saying I'd better not bowl a no-ball or a wide. It probably wasn't where I wanted the last ball, but I knew we had enough."
Australia's debutant captain, Brad Haddin, also paid credit to Adam Voges for the brilliant, high-wire boundary catch which removed the dangerous Brendon McCullum in the penultimate over of the match. "He's got a very, very good cricket brain," Haddin said. "To think on your feet that quickly was an outstanding effort.
"As it turned out, it was a massive play like that we needed to win the match. He's an outstanding thinker in the game to be able to do that in a pressure situation. It went a long way to winning the game."
Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo