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Captain Brendon McCullum says his New Zealand team has no one to blame but themselves after an agonising Champions Trophy defeat to England leaves them cheering for an Australian upset tomorrow.
New Zealand lost by 10 runs, chasing 170 to win in a rain-shortened 24-over game.
It saw England book their semi-final spot and left the Black Caps sweating on an Australian victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval early tomorrow (NZT) to sneak through as second qualifier and a semi-final against India.
New Zealand's net run rate is still healthy and that should see them through if they finish level on points with Australia.
"It's never nice when you leave destiny in someone else's hands," McCullum said.
"We would love Australia to play some excellent cricket tomorrow. We had our opportunity today and we missed out, and if we find ourselves out of the tournament we can't be upset, but if we do get another opportunity through Australia doing the job for us then who knows what could happen in the semi-final."
The captain had no quibble with the controversial dismissal of Kane Williamson (67 off 54 balls) who was caught off Stuart Broad but replays suggested he'd bowled a no ball. Third umpire Steve Davis ruled a small part of Broad's front boot was behind the line in a decision that looked too close to call.
"It was close but I didn't have a problem with it," McCullum said.
"Benefit of the doubt to the bowler - sometimes you get the rub of the green and sometimes you don't. If it had been overturned I don't think they would have been too upset and as it stood we're not too upset either."
New Zealand were confident at the start of their chase as the eyed a run rate of seven an over. But another top order collapse to 48-4, with McCullum, Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill all removed in the face of excellent James Anderson fast bowling, provided the dagger through the heart.
"It was a huge moment," he said. "We did a really good job with the ball to restrict them to that score and we were comfortable chasing that total with one short side and the pitch wasn't too bad. It was certainly achievable. They bowled brilliantly at the start and put us under pressure.
"It was testament to how well Kane and Corey [Anderson] played that they got us close and that could prove valuable if that result goes our way tomorrow. For a little while I thought these boys were going to get it done."
Anderson was handed a surprise ODI debut after he was rushed into the squad for an injured Grant Elliott (calf), then with rain shortening the match he was promoted ahead of Ian Butler and Doug Bracewell into a batting all-rounder's role.
Anderson (30 off 24 balls) clouted a six off-spinner James Tredwell and helped Williamson add 73 off 45 balls for the sixth wicket. They had New Zealand requiring 36 off 18 balls but both were dismissed in the space of six deliveries to snuff out the tourists' hopes.
New Zealand also dropped four catches, three of them by the usually reliable Nathan McCullum.
"He's a brilliant fielder and today he dropped a couple," the skipper said.
"He's still probably up in terms of his fielding ability but it makes it hard when you drop four catches.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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