Blackcaps batsman Ross Taylor has thrown his support behind under-fire fast-bowler Ben Wheeler.
The left-arm seamer was punished by Australia's batsmen in their five-wicket over New Zealand at Eden Park on Friday.
Chasing a record-breaking target, openers David Warner and D'arcy Short went after the Blackcaps bowlers, and particularly, Wheeler.
He went for 64 runs off just 3.1 overs, going wicket-less, before he was forced to come out of the attack during his fourth over after bowling two waist-high no-balls.
Speaking to Brendan Telfer on RadioLIVE, Taylor concedes the team did miss the injured Mitch Santner, but his replacement has been unfairly criticised following the stunning defeat. '
"He's a world-class operator, and you don't want to say what if but I'm sure he would of been able to contribute but in saying that, Ben Wheeler, statistically didn't have a great game with the ball but I thought he was a bit unlucky in the first over," he said.
"Not a lot of things went his way but we got another game against England to make the final and would love to be there to play and hopefully get one back on Australia."
Taylor instead was full of praise for their opponents and admits their first-innings score was not as imposing as many thought.
"You were confident, but when you went out to field and you had a look, it was only 12 an over, and on that ground, 12 an over is not a lot if someone gets going," he said.
"All it would of taken it a couple of tight overs or a couple of wickets but we weren't able to get that double breakthrough.
"They played outstandingly well."