The New Zealand cricket team were in full celebration mode, after a gutsy 3-2 One Day series loss to Pakistan.
Stand-in skipper Ross Taylor said he was delighted with the progress of the team.
“We really stamped our authority on Pakistan in all of the matches in this series,” said Taylor.
“The most important thing was that we cemented our place amongst the top ten cricketing nations.”
Coach John Wright said he thought there were still a few areas of the game to work on, but that the team’s progress through the series had been stunning.
“Our batting has been poor, our bowling mediocre, and our fielding a regular disappointment. We lack depth and talent in key places, and some of our supposedly best players appear to lack form.
“But two wins and a draw is an exceptional result. That’s two golds and three silvers. To put that in perspective, the entire New Zealand Olympic squad only got three golds in Beijing. We almost matched that in one series.
“I’m really thrilled with the boys.”
New Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan said the team could take a lot of positives from the series.
“Pakistan’s in the top ten in world cricket, even if they have numerous players out due to various match-fixing scandals, and even though a permanent taint of suspicion lingers over every loss they suffer, and even though they were playing away from home on pitches that did not suit them. And yet we beat them twice, and were only smashed out of three games.
“This puts us comfortably ahead of the USA, Russia and China in the international cricket one-day rankings. When you consider the population of China alone, that is a truly remarkable effort.
“As far as I know, the Chinese have never beaten Pakistan in an official one-day international. We did it twice.”
Injured captain Daniel Vettori confirmed that the team was hopeful of a top-eight finish in the upcoming World Cup.
“We’ll have to play well to beat teams like Kenya, though.
“Of course you always go there to win, but if we can end the tournament having done better than the likes of the Netherlands, Ireland, Canada and Zimbabwe then I’ll be thrilled.”