Dawid Malan admitted England’s catching cost them after several chances were spurned in last night’s 21-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand.
Malan top-scored for the tourists with a 29-ball 39 in Wellington, while captain Eoin Morgan took just 17 deliveries to race to 32 and Chris Jordan blazed a belligerent 36 off 19 in the latter stages.
The Kiwis’ total of 176-8, however, proved comfortably out of reach – and Malan admitted the Three Lions ought to have been chasing far less.
"We fielded really badly,” he said. “We dropped a lot of catches, myself included, and it wasn't to the standards this England team sets.
"We then lost wickets at crucial times. Every time we got some momentum with an 11, 12 or 13-run over, we lost a wicket in the next over or hit a six and then got out next ball.
"I know we had to go with the rate up at 12 an over. But with these boundaries and the way the wicket was playing, we probably have ourselves to blame.
"The way CJ [Chris Jordan] came out and whacked them showed that you are one over away from being in the game.
"We spoke about the fact that, if you are under pressure here, then it is so small you can go square.
“We did play a couple of bad shots and took the wrong option. That’s something we need to get better at.
"The good thing about the way Morgs [Eoin Morgan] and Silvers [head coach Chris Silverwood] run the show is they don't put a lot of pressure on you.
"We speak about what we need to get better at and it's up to us to rectify those problems."
Martin Guptill (41 off 28), Colin de Grandhomme (28 off 12), Ross Taylor (28 off 24) and James Neesham (42 off 22) did most of the damage for the Black Caps, who were invited to bat first in Wellington.
And while Sam Curran (4-0-22-2), Jordan (4-0-23-0) and Lewis Gregory (2-0-10-1) conceded just 55 from their ten overs combined, Saqib Mahmood, Pat Brown and Adil Rashid all came in for rough treatment from the Kiwis’ batsmen.
Not content with top-scoring in response, Malan chastised himself for not completing the job.
"Every opportunity is a chance for someone like me," he said.
"Myself, Vincey [James Vince] and Sam Billings have been around the squad for four years and waited a long time for these opportunities, which have been few and far between
"For us, when we do get an opportunity, it's about scoring runs that win games of cricket. That's why I'm a bit disappointed.
"The timing of when I got out was poor. It was a crucial period. If I had batted for another three or four overs, I could have won this game.
"It's not just about getting 30, 40 or 50 - winning the game is what counts."
New Zealand’s win leaves the five-match T20 International series level at 1-1. The two sides will lock horns again in Nelson on Tuesday.
Eoin Morgan’s world champions will face Ireland in a One-Day International at Trent Bridge on Thursday 10 September 2020. Secure your seats…