McCullum takes positives from defeat

27 December 2012 11:27:58 EST

New Zealand wilted under pressure from South Africa in their Twenty20 series decider, but captain Brendon McCullum found positives from the loss.

And the skipper pledged to help his team re-focus ahead of the rest of their tour. The Black Caps were in good spirits ahead of the third clash in Port Elizabeth, but their bowlers were unable to contain the hosts.

I think throughout the series we have seen some improvements and we can take some heart out of this series.

Brendon McCullum

The Proteas, who won the toss and elected to bat, piled on 179-6 to leave New Zealand with an uphill task. And only two of their players, including McCullum, managed to get past 20 as they suffered a 33-run defeat.

The captain said: "They played very good today and in the clutch moments they stood up and applied some pressure.

"If you look at our batting, bowling and fielding, we were probably 10 per cent off right throughout. 

"And against a good side, they'll expose you."

McCullum added: "They played very well in that back end of the innings and they got 116 off the last 10 overs. 

"So they obviously turned up the pressure there and we didn't quite respond as well as we would have liked.

"Today we weren't quite at our best but I think throughout the series we have seen some improvements and we can take some heart out of this series."

New Zealand's inexperienced side now faces the task of rebounding for the one-day internationals and Tests.

McCullum said: "We'll try and re-channel the focus for the guys that stay on and also the Test players that have arrived and work out some plans…work out where we can try and beat and attack South Africa and put them under some pressure."

New Zealand are 125/1 to win the Test series against South Africa, who are 1/33. South Africa are 2/15 to win the series 2-0.

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