Nasser Hussain refuses to criticise England after NZ T20 loss
England can be pleased with their valiant T20 display against New Zealand, says Nasser Hussain.
Last Updated: 26/06/13 9:28am
Brendon McCullum (68) and Hamish Rutherford (62 off 35 balls) belted the Black Caps to an imposing 201-4 after being put in to bat by England.
However, the hosts, inspired by an electric crowd at the Kia Oval and Luke Wright's 52, almost chased down their target, eventually falling just five runs short.
The final-over scenes, with England needing another 16 to take the lead in the two-match series, was reminiscent of their task in Sunday's Champions Trophy final against India, in which Ashley Giles' side also just fell short.
But former England captain Hussain insists the home team can be proud of their T20 efforts.
"England shouldn't beat themselves up about that - they should do about the Champions Trophy final, that was a game they should have won that they lost, but this was a game where they've had to play really well," he said.
"They just didn't quite get over the line and that comes down to small things, such as New Zealand's fielding on the boundary at the end.
"But England were ahead of the rate, there was no-one who came in and chewed up deliveries and no-one to blame; everyone played well.
"Sometimes when two sides play a game you have to say to the opposition 'you slightly outplayed us today' and that's what New Zealand did."
Hussain picked out McCullum's captaincy and the resilience of New Zealand's bowlers for special praise after seeing both Ian Butler and Corey Anderson bounce back after being hit for six off the first balls of their final overs.
"What was impressive was every bowler who started his over badly had the toughness to come back at England and keep asking questions," Hussain told Sky Sports.
"In the end New Zealand just about deserved it and I thought McCullum's captaincy was out of this world. Not everything worked but more things worked than didn't."
Former Kiwi bowler Simon Doull applauded the efforts of his compatriot Rutherford, whose quick-fire knock set the platform for New Zealand to build an impressive total on the quick track at the Oval.
And he reckons the opener, who will spend the summer playing for Essex, will continue to improve the more he plays in English conditions.
"This time in England is going to do Rutherford a world of good," said Doull.
"His domestic one-day record isn't great but he's had a good start to international cricket and this time playing in Essex will do him good.
"With the confidence it brings and playing in all forms of the game, for his development as a young man, he's going to come out of this season far better off."
Rock 'n' Roll
David Lloyd, meanwhile, simply couldn't wait to see the two sides square off again on Thursday night.
"It's been terrific entertainment and the ball has been flying all over the place," he said
"It was a full house and it will be the same on Thursday. The entertainment value here was wonderful.
"New Zealand are a dangerous team; they're very well organised, they're fit, they're strong, they're good in the field. They deserved to win, too, but I would be in praise of England, as well - they've done very well with that young team.
"The crowd were right behind the game - not just England - and it's rock 'n' roll is this.
"Get your jeans on, your sneakers and your t-shirt and come down to the cricket!"
England v New Zealand: 6pm, Thursday, Sky Sports 1 HD