Jonny Bairstow clubbed a brilliant 123 but it proved to be in vain as England Lions fell short in their run chase against New Zealand A.
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The Yorkshire wicket-keeper was comfortably England's highest scorer as they were bowled out for 260 in their pursuit of 282, with only Jason Roy (42) offering a semblance of support in a 22-run defeat.
It was harsh on Bairstow - one of England's match-winners when they beat Sri Lanka A in this triangular series on Wednesday - that when his 116-ball knock ended so did England's reply, but he could rest assured that he had done his bit, hitting 12 fours and two maximums along the way.
Doug Bracewell and Matt Henry led the way in the bowling for the Kiwis, taking three each, as England consistently struggled - especially as they slumped to 48 for four.
Dean Brownlie assumed the Bairstow role of comfortably leading the scoring for New Zealand, hitting 115 with the nearest highest scorer being Grant Elliott with 42.
David Willey did his burgeoning reputation no harm with five wickets, although his economy rate of over six and over did not make such pleasant reading.
Tom Smith also chipped in with a couple of wickets but the chase was always going to be a tough one for England.
It proved to be that way too as Bairstow and Roy apart, the batsmen laboured, with six of them failing to make double figures. Openers Alex Hales and James Vince made just eight between them, while James Taylor and Willey also failed in the middle order.
Willey's figures came in his first game back in international cricket after a long injury and he admitted they were a little flattering.
"It was one of those days when others bowled better and I picked up the wickets," he said.
"I think I made it too easy for the batsmen to score throughout my 10 overs.
"The ball moved nice and conventionally and then reversed later, which made things a little bit easier for me. Fortunately, there were a couple of skied catches the guys managed to get hold of.
"I was a bit wayward at times and could have bowled a little better."
Of Bairstow he added: "It was an exceptional knock by Jonny to get us that close in the end and his was a world class innings.
"It was a pity it was not quite enough to get us over the line and we ended up paying the price for a poor first 10 overs."