Colin Munro starred once again as New Zealand booked their place in the trans-Tasman Twenty20 tri-series final, despite a two-run defeat to England in Sunday's last group match.
After England had posted 194-7, thanks chiefly to an unbeaten 80 from fit-again skipper Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan's 53, the Black Caps required 175 to finish ahead of their opponents on net run-rate and guarantee a place in the final.
Munro significantly enhanced the chances of that target being reached by clubbing 57 from just 21 deliveries on another small ground.
New Zealand's rate of progress slowed significantly following his departure, as spinners Liam Dawson and Adil Rashid impressed, but the previously becalmed Martin Guptill eventually picked up the pace to reach 62 off 47 balls and effectively end England's hopes of qualifying.
After moving past 175 at the start of the 19th over, the hosts fell narrowly short of winning the game as Chris Jordan and Tom Curran kept things tight at the death.
Yet it will be New Zealand who face Australia in Wednesday's final, with England's first win of the series coming too late and by too slim a margin to save them.
Big finish!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 18, 2018
De Grandhomme can't find the fence needing 4 off the final ball and we come up 3 runs short of the 195 target.
But we are still through to the FINAL with a superior net run-rate #TriSeries pic.twitter.com/HdiTAhN5Lf
Morgan and Malan put on 93 for the third wicket in an England innings otherwise punctuated by the fall of regular wickets.
There were five sixes for Malan - the initial aggressor - and one more for Morgan, who accelerated in devastating fashion, while Tim Southee was comfortably the pick of the home attack with 2-22 from four overs.
England's total soon looked vulnerable when Munro dominated an opening stand of 78 with Guptill that spanned just 6.3 overs.
Munro cleared the ropes on seven occasions and reached 50 from just 18 balls, the third time he has reached the landmark in that many deliveries or fewer.
Rashid and Dawson, who had 1-9 from three overs before his last set of six went for 18, brought England back into the game, but Guptill eventually found his feet to ensure qualification was a formality for the Black Caps.
An unbeaten 37 off 30 balls from Mark Chapman was not quite enough for New Zealand to win the match, but it mattered little.
|Director of rugby Kennedy leaves London Irish|
|Brilliant Bale basks in Wales record|
|Romo hits back-to-back birdies on PGA Tour debut|
|Neuer needs to play to make Germany´s World Cup squad – Low|
|All we can do is take it on the chin - Bayliss responds to Auckland humiliation|
|China 0 Wales 6: Record-breaking Bale leads demolition job in perfect start for Giggs|
|Curry closer to return than Durant - Kerr|
|Alonso expects McLaren to be at ´lowest level´ in Melbourne|
|Serena´s conqueror and a new tennis superstar - who is Naomi Osaka?|
|Bale becomes Wales´ record goalscorer with China hat-trick|
|Hamilton warns Ricciardo not to rock Red Bull boat|
|It could have been worse! England´s lowest Test totals|
|The ´reality for people with a brain´ is Manchester United are in transition, Mourinho claims|
|Black Caps seamer savours Boult from the blue|
|West Ham ban disruptive fans for life after Burnley chaos|
|Storm respond by beating Cowboys|
|Ten wickets in 79 minutes - a timeline of England´s Auckland horror show|
|England´s bleak winter sinks to new low|
|Iniesta hints at post-World Cup international retirement|
|All we do is talk s*** - Pique goads Madrid stars over WhatsApp|
|England like rabbits in the headlights - Bayliss|
|Euro 2016 humiliation helped England, claims Dele Alli|
|58 all out! Shambolic England overshadow Broad milestone|
|Iniesta confident of two more years in Barcelona starting XI|
|Kane probably the best striker in the world - Maguire|
|Broad strikes again – the Opta data behind the England bowler´s 400th wicket|
|Wenger told Wilshere he could leave Arsenal|
|An India hat-trick and THAT Ashes annihilation: Broad´s finest Test spells|
|Broad removes Latham to claim 400th Test wicket|
|If you play for Atletico, you must be committed – Koke responds to Griezmann speculation|
|LeBron´s historic night leads Cavs past Raptors, Howard tallies rare 30-30|
|Del Potro, Cilic loom for Haase and Herbert|
|Giggs: Bale will feature for Wales in China Cup|
|Serena releases statement after skipping media following Miami loss|
|England bowled out for 58 in 130-year Test low|
|Maradona: Messi doesn´t have to prove himself by winning World Cup|
|Cavs tally worst defensive half of season against Raptors|
|McIlroy, Johnson stunned on day one in Austin|
|Cristiano Ronaldo hasn´t asked to leave Real Madrid amid China links – Perez|
|Oakland Athletics allowing fans to pick price of tickets, all proceeds to charity|
|Ginobili: Spurs not expecting Kawhi Leonard to return this season|
|Trout, Angels brass confident Shohei Ohtani will be a star|
|Osaka wanted to impress Serena with stunning Miami Open win|
|Manchester United apply for professional women´s team|
|Bolt hopes fellow Jamaican breaks his world record|
|Bolt a fan of Ronaldo, but compares his talent to Messi´s|
|Outstanding Osaka knocks out Williams in Miami opener|
|Del Potro ´tired´ heading into Miami Open|
|Heynckes definitely leaving at end of season, claims Ze Roberto|
|Joshua tells Wilder to be ´realistic´ in negotiations|
|Shaw issue a distraction from Manchester United´s failures, says Neville|
|Hamsik withdraws from Slovakia squad|
|RFU backs Jones despite awful Six Nations|
|Hamilton eyes Melbourne pole record, 100 club for Vettel? - Australian GP in numbers|
|Griezmann backs Pogba to prove doubters wrong for France|
|Sanchez ´expected something better´ from Manchester United move|
|WATCH: Thomas conjures up great escape in Austin|
|Javi Martinez in the dark over Spain squad omission|
|Jones should have managed England workload - Flood|
|Giggs feeling the tension ahead of Wales debut|
|Juventus confirm Alex Sandro thigh injury|
|Hart praises ´loyal guy´ Southgate amid World Cup axe fears|
|Windies singing in the rain as they clinch World Cup spot|
|I miss Morata, says recalled Costa|
|I can improve even more at Manchester City - Bernardo Silva|
|Neymar will be fit for the World Cup, insists Ronaldo|
|Costa thinks Griezmann will stay at Atletico Madrid|
|Third DRS zone added for Australian Grand Prix|
|Ferdinand worried by England´s World Cup striker options|
|Hamilton an F1 great - Fittipaldi|