Few would have thought Scotland's attack would extend the New Zealand batting to such a degree in defence of only 142, but captain Preston Mommsen said he expected chances to be created during the chase. New Zealand won comfortably, in the end, reeling in their target inside 25 overs, but they had lost seven wickets in the process - five of them for 71 runs.

"I was pretty confident they'd look to build on their net run rate and try to knock the runs off quickly. At the same time, I knew that could provide opportunities and it did," Mommsen said. "We had Brendon McCullum dropped early in the innings, before getting him later on, and I think it showed throughout the innings they were looking to score and that provided opportunities. I think we showed we have a skillful attack. When they put the ball in good areas, they got rewards. That shows one of the strengths of the side is our attack and able to take wickets consistently through the innings."

That chance of McCullum came early in the innings, when Scotland could have had the hosts 22 for 2, but they would spill another opportunity later in the innings. Corey Anderson hit one flat to fine leg with the score on 119 for 5, but Iain Wardlaw could not hold on.

"I'm pretty happy with the fielding display minus those two chances, but in order for us to beat a team like New Zealand, England and Sri Lanka, we need to hang on to every chance we get. If we create 10 chances, we need to take 10 chances. I feel that's one way we're going to be able to beat a Full Member nation. I think we were at about 85% today, so there is some room in the tank. Hopefully in our next game against England we can show a red hot display.

"When we dropped Corey Anderson I thought that was a huge moment. But the boys kept coming back, we kept coming back. Then to get Corey out eventually and then obviously Luke Ronchi, we were right in the game. So we were very close today."

Scotland's batting was brittle on Tuesday, as they lost four wickets for 12 to excellent spells of swing bowling from Trent Boult and Tim Southee, then lost their final six wickets for 33 runs. In between, however, Matt Machan and Richie Berrington had offered some hope of achieving a competitive total, hitting a fifty apiece, and putting on 97 together. They both departed to Anderson short balls in close succession.

"I think it was a natural process to consolidate at that stage of the game, and Matt and Richie did exactly that," Mommsen said. "When they got in the ball was doing a fair bit and they showed great skill to build a platform there. Then once both of them got in, I think they showed the skill that we're capable of as a batting unit. They're both pretty disappointed that they couldn't go on, because they knew it was potentially 100 on the cards for one of them, which would have been a great thing for Scottish cricket."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando