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News

Mitchell puts emphasis on 'winning little moments' with young team after Super Over thriller

"To push the Asia Cup champions to a Super Over is really cool," he said after the loss

Daryl Mitchell's 44-ball 66 went in vain for New Zealand  •  Getty Images

Daryl Mitchell's 44-ball 66 went in vain for New Zealand  •  Getty Images

Losing in a Super Over can be hard to take, but to keep doing it, well, you'd have to ask New Zealand. Even so, Daryl Mitchell took a more dispassionate view of New Zealand's latest Super Over defeat, this time to Sri Lanka in the first T20I at Eden Park.
Overall, New Zealand have lost seven of their eight Super Overs in T20Is.
Mitchell, whose 44-ball 66 had laid the foundation for New Zealand's chase of 196, chose instead to centre attention on the fact that a youthful New Zealand outfit - Henry Shipley and Chad Bowes were both making debuts - had run the Asian champions so close. Not to mention, they gained invaluable international experience in the process.
"We love to win series for our country, but at the same time, it's about getting better as a group," Mitchell said after the game. "We know we've got a young group here at the moment, one that hasn't played a lot of international cricket."
"I guess to push the Asia Cup champions to a Super Over is really cool to see for some of the younger guys who haven't played a lot of cricket. For us, we're just really proud to be representing our country and try and make sure we concentrate on winning the little moments and doing the things that we believe as Black Caps are our values."
Of the game itself, Mitchell was again content with how they had approached proceedings and the chase in particular. With rain on the horizon - in fact, a fair bit of drizzle did appear towards the end of the game, though not enough to warrant stopping play - New Zealand's chase was always augmented by the spectre of the accompanying DLS target. But despite losing wickets - including two inside the first two overs - along the way, and a stiff required rate on the cards, New Zealand were ahead of the DLS target pretty much throughout the chase.
Much of this was down to important cameos from the likes of Tom Latham, Mark Chapman, James Neesham and Rachin Ravindra, all of whom ensured the Lankan bowlers were never allowed to get on top.
"For us... we make sure we concentrate on winning the little moments and doing the things that we believe as Black Caps are our values."
Mitchell after the Super Over loss
"At Eden Park, the deeper you take it, the more chance you have at the end of catching up, and we were really happy with where we were in staying with the DLS total the whole way through," Mitchell said.
"That's sort of an indicator of where we wanna be when chasing. I thought we were in a great position, and it was really cool to see the likes of Tom Latham and Mark Chapman come out with that intent right through the middle, and then Rachin (Ravindra) and (Ish) Sodhi do a job at the end.
"I think they'll take a lot of confidence away from doing that job and, yeah, it was really good to see those guys stand up."
In the end, it wasn't enough but for Mitchell, this was more a case of fine margins rather than anything particularly systemic that needed to be addressed.
"I thought the way they bowled their [Super] Over was very good, and I guess, when you do lose a wicket early in the over it makes it challenging in terms of trying to make sure you get enough runs to be competitive," he said.
"And I thought the way [Adam] Milne bowled… that six [off the second ball], if it was two metres shorter it's a wicket and it's game on. So that's the game that we play and, yeah, we were just a couple of small margins off today.
"But it's a sport, there's a winner and a loser, and we were on the other side today."