Big-hitting Black Caps opener Colin Munro has characterised his side's two-run Twenty20 loss to England - but successful passage to Wednesday's tri-series final against Australia - as bittersweet.
Set a target of 195 for victory and 175 for progression to the final, the Kiwis hit the latter with ease in Hamilton on Sunday but couldn't quite reach the former.
They had required 12 off the final over, bowled by paceman Tom Curran, but Mark Chapman and Colin de Grandhomme could manage only nine.
With one ball remaining, de Grandhomme needed to a boundary to win - but could only hit down the ground and into the grateful arms of an English fielder.
They finished with a total of 192-4.
An earlier captain's knock from the returning Eoin Morgan - hitting a thunderous 80 from 46 balls - had guided England to a competitive 194-7 total.
Munro, who struck his own venomous half-century with 57 from 21 balls and seven sixes, said he was glad to reach the tri-series final but irked to lose.
New Zealand and England won one of four tri-series matches, with the Black Caps reaching the final based on their superior net run rate.
Australia won all four of their tri-series games.
"It's nice to be in the final but the boys are pretty disappointed for not winning the game - every time you put the Fern on, you want to play and win," Munro said.
"You've got to give yourself every opportunity and I think we did that.
"Give credit to England - they bowled really well in those last couple of overs, hit the yorkers really well, and we weren't quite able to get on top."
For the Caps' progression to the final - set at Eden Park, the same venue as Friday's five-wicket loss to Australia - they have their openers to thank.
Munro struck powerfully from ball one, while Martin Guptill hung around to snare 62 off 47 deliveries and young gun Chapman secured a solid 37.
Captain Kane Williamson again fell early, removed for eight.
The 30-year-old Munro backed his side to get things right against Australia, who chased down New Zealand's total of 243 to win their last-up clash.
It was the highest successful run chase in international T20 history.
"It's another game at the end of the day, it's a final but it's just another game of cricket - we were pretty close the other night at Eden Park," Munro said.
"It's another game of cricket but another title we can win.
"We'll come to Eden Park on Wednesday fizzing."
England, meanwhile, miss out on the final but will look ahead to their five-match ODI series against New Zealand, starting next weekend in Hamilton.