Ross Taylor’s magnificent century, in a partnership of 178 with Tom Latham, laid the foundations for a three-wicket New Zealand win in the first ODI against England in Hamilton.
Mitchell Santner's 45 not out from 27 balls got the Black Caps over the line with four balls to spare after Ben Stokes (2-43), in his first England appearance since he was arrested in Bristol last September, dismissed Latham (79) and Colin de Grandhomme in quick succession to give the tourists the advantage.
Jos Buttler (79) and Joe Root (71) hit half-centuries as England posted 284-8 but after recovering from the loss of three early wickets, New Zealand held their nerve to win a pulsating encounter and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
After being invited to bat first England were unusually subdued in the first 10 overs as Tim Southee and Trent Boult bowled with admirable discipline, the latter having Jonny Bairstow (four) caught behind.
Root and Jason Roy put on 79 for the second wicket, batting with great maturity on a slow surface before Santner beat Roy (49) with an arm ball that skidded on and uprooted his leg stump.
Eoin Morgan was then undone by an Ish Sodhi googly, bringing Stokes (12) to the crease. But while a superbly executed reverse sweep provided a reminder of what he can do, Santner (2-54) had him caught before he could inflict any real damage.
That was left to Buttler, who hit three consecutive sixes off Sodhi (2-63), and, after Root was bowled by Colin Munro (1-31), Moeen Ali, who chipped in with a boundary-filled 28.
New Zealand were indebted to Southee (0-47) and Boult (2-64) as they frustrated Buttler during the final few overs and prevented England from reaching the 300-plus score they had threatened going into the final powerplay.
However, England could still be happy to have reached a highly competitive total and their collective mood would have improved further as Chris Woakes removed the dangerous Munro (six) in the second over of the chase.
The wicket was Woakes' 100th in ODIs and No 101 followed soon after as Martin Guptill (13) slapped the ball straight to Stokes at cover and with David Willey having had Kane Williamson caught behind in between, New Zealand were struggling at 27-3.
Taylor and Latham showed all their experience though and gradually built their partnership to not only bring New Zealand back into the game but put them in the ascendency.
Stokes finally made the breakthrough, having an increasingly tired-looking Latham caught at mid-on by Root with New Zealand still needing 80 to win and when Tom Curran had Henry Nicholls (0) caught in the next over, England were back in the game.
De Grandhomme (two) was the next to go, Stokes continuing to exert his influence as the Black Caps all-rounder edged his slower ball behind.
Taylor (113) remained but when he was stumped off Adil Rashid (1-55), England looked to be favourites again, only for back-to-back sixes from Santner to swing the pendulum back New Zealand's way.
The hosts were left needing nine from the final over and after Santner got a thick inside edge to send Woakes' (2-47) near-perfect yorker down to fine leg for four, the game was all but up and the left-hander heaved the ball high over the square leg boundary to seal the win.
WHAT THEY SAID
Eoin Morgan, England captain: "There wasn't much between the sides today - I think that was reflected in the result. It was a good competitive game and I think we posted a really competitive score, courtesy of Root, Roy and Buttler. We made inroads at the start [with the ball] but they fought back really well.
"We knew we were back in the game when we broke the Latham-Taylor partnership but we just didn't have enough in the tank towards the end. The dew was a factor, it's the reason we would have bowled first."
Kane Williamson, New Zealand captain: "The first half of the game ebbed and flowed - I thought England had a competitive total and that it would require some skilful batting from us to get across the line and we saw that from Ross and Tom with that fantastic partnership. A lot of credit to our death bowlers for keeping the score down in the last 10, it was a very good effort, especially with Jos Buttler in, a guy that can hit it to all parts."
The teams move on to Mount Maunganui's picturesque Bay Oval for the second game of this five-match ODI series with England looking to level it up at 1-1.