New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum shrugged his shoulders and tutted slightly as he sat down to face the media after the final day of the Test series against England yesteday.
McCullum’s side had come within one wicket of upsetting the world’s second-ranked Test team to claim the series 1-0 after the first two matches in Dunedin and Wellington ended in rain-affected draws.
New Zealand had England on the ropes when play began at Eden Park yesterday, with the visitors on 90-4 with no chance of scoring 481 to win the match.
By the close, the tourists had reached 315-9 with Matt Prior scoring a match-saving century, while Ian Bell had lasted almost six hours for a patient 75 and Stuart Broad had defiantly taken 102 minutes to get off the mark before he fell for 6.
Monty Panesar lasted 20 minutes, but faced just five of the final 19 balls for his 2 runs, to defy New Zealand and end their hopes of securing their first series victory over England since 1999.
“It is heartbreaking, obviously,” McCullum told reporters. “We played some brilliant cricket throughout the series, but especially in this Test match, and dictated terms from day one and we gave it every chance to force the result.”
“We came up against a defiant English team who were hell-bent on ensuring they didn’t lose the Test match for their country and unfortunately we weren’t able to penetrate to get that one more wicket,” he said.