Melbourne: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said he had no regrets after "one hell of a ride" at the World Cup came to an end with a seven-wicket defeat by Australia in Sunday`s final in Melbourne.
New Zealand had won all eight of their previous matches in this World Cup -- including a one-wicket defeat of Australia in the pool phase -- but all of those matches were on their own soil.
Unfortunately for the Black Caps, their first match in Australia this tournament ended in a crushing loss.
New Zealand could only manage 183 after McCullum won the toss, with the tone for the innings set when the dynamic opener was bowled for nought by left-arm express paceman Mitchell Starc -- the man-of-the-tournament -- in the first over at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
By contrast, Australia captain Michael Clarke, playing his last one-day international, made 74 in his side`s winning total of 186 for three.
"It`s been one hell of a ride for us," said McCullum.
"We played some outstanding cricket, but we ran into an outstanding Australia team tonight who continue to set the way in world cricket. Michael Clarke deserves to bow out as world champion."
Turning to the ball that dismissed him, McCullum added: "It was quick one. It all unfolded not as we planned.
"I thought we got ourselves back in the game at 150 for three but Australia as they do put us back under pressure. We were the second-best team.
"We`ve got no regrets -- as a cricketer this is the greatest stage you can ask for," he added of a match played in front of an MCG record crowd of 93,013.
"We`ve forged memories and friendships that will last forever. The brand of cricket we`ve is something we`re immensely proud of.
"It is the greatest time of our lives and that`s the way we`ve tried to play the game. I`m immensely proud of all the guys."