New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra hailed the “beauty of cricket” on Saturday despite a heartbreaking five-run defeat by Australia in the World Cup.
Having been set a massive 389 to win, the Black Caps were agonisingly close to pulling off the second highest one-day international chase in history.
“It’s disappointing when it gets that close and you’re chasing such a big total and to come out a little bit short,” said Ravindra who hit an 89-ball 116 in his team’s 383-9.
“But I think that’s the beauty of cricket. You get the highs and lows of it and it was an exciting game.”
After Travis Head top scored for Australia and David Warner had made 81, New Zealand battled hard.
Ravindra made his second century of the tournament, Daryl Mitchell added 54 and Jimmy Neesham supplied late fireworks with a 33-ball fifty.
With a total of 771 runs, it was the highest scoring game at a World Cup, beating the 754 scored in South Africa’s win against Sri Lanka earlier in the tournament.
In a dramatic final over played out in the shadow of the Himalayas, New Zealand needed 19 to win.
Trent Boult scampered for a single before Mitchell Starc donated five wides.
Neesham, one of the stars of the 2019 final which New Zealand lost to England, then took six runs off the next three balls.
However, attempting another two, he was run out from a fine throw by Marnus Labuschagne from the fence.
That left Lockie Ferguson, who had injured his Achilles in the field, needing to perform the heroics off the last ball.
Starc fired the ball in on a full length and Ferguson could only push it to the covers, leaving the Kiwis heartbroken.
Ravindra enjoyed partnerships of 96 with Mitchell, 54 with skipper Tom Latham and a brisk 43 with Glenn Phillips.
The 23-year-old Ravindra, who scored 123 in the opening win over England, was eventually out in the 41st over.
Attempting to force the pace with New Zealand needing 97 to win off 60 balls, Ravindra was caught in the deep off Australian skipper Pat Cummins.
Despite the defeat, New Zealand are still well set for a semi-final spot with four wins and two defeats. They have another three games to play in the group stage.
“I’m very grateful to be here and with how things have worked out,” said Ravindra.
“You want to do well and take it as it comes and obviously, we’re in a position to as a team to hopefully push on and keep winning games.
“I guess individually it runs for the team so I’m happy to be able to contribute.”