Mitchell Santner blasted New Zealand to a three-wicket victory in the first one-day international after Ross Taylor crafted a magnificent century to spoil Ben Stokes' England comeback at Seddon Park.
Joe Root made 71 and Jos Butter's brilliant 79 from only 65 balls got England up to 284-8 in Hamilton, Stokes falling for only 12 in his first international appearance since being arrested following an incident in Bristol last September.
Taylor, who passed the 7,000-run mark for the Black Caps with his 18th ODI hundred, and Tom Latham (79) came to the rescue as the pair produced a stand of 178 after New Zealand were reduced to 27-3.
England looked set to end the hosts' run of eight consecutive ODI wins when Taylor fell for 113 after Stokes (2-43) struck twice, but Santner (45 not out from 27) hit Chris Woakes for his fourth six to seal the win with four balls to spare in a thrilling start to the five-match series.
SUPER-SANTNER!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 25, 2018
Smashes Woakes for SIX over mid-wicket to finish this game with 4 balls to spare. BLACKCAPS chase down 285 to win by 3 wickets #wow
Card - https://t.co/hh0vdXKv7G … #NZvENG pic.twitter.com/2dvl4lZfdI
Jason Roy smashed Ish Sodhi for a huge six two balls after being dropped by the spinner, but the dangerous opener fell for 49 when Santner (2-54) cleaned him up with an arm ball to end a second-wicket stand of 79 with Root after Jonny Bairstow fell early on.
Captain Eoin Morgan failed and England were 139-4 when the returning Stokes top-edged Santner to Taylor after Root brought up his half-century by guiding Colin de Grandhomme to the third-man boundary.
The brutal Buttler dished out more treatment to Sodhi, hitting him for three consecutive sixes, and added another two maximums late in the innings after Colin Munro bowled Root, while Moeen Ali added a brisk 28.
Munro was gone in Woakes' first over when he charged down the track and edged behind, then David Willey was rewarded for an impressive opening spell with the big wicket of the captain Williamson for only eight.
The Black Caps were in all sorts of trouble at 27-3 after Stokes took a sharp catch offered by Martin Guptill to give Woakes a second wicket, but the composed Taylor and Latham got them out of the mire.
A cut for four took Taylor to another half-century and Latham was also raising his bat after being put down by Buttler down the leg side off Adil Rashid on 47.
Stokes ended the long partnership by drawing a false shot from Latham and struck again to remove de Grandhomme, leaving New Zealand on 215-6 in the 42nd over.
Taylor had yet another hundred off 109 balls, but was stumped charging at Rashid in an excellent 46th over and with the game in the balance, Santner hit England's leg-spinner for back-to-back sixes in the 48th over to swing it in New Zealand's favour.
With only nine needed from the last over, Santner eased the nerves with a streaky boundary and the left-hander hit another towering six off Woakes to finish it in style.
|Home hope Bekker out in front at Alfred Dunhill Championship|
|Van Bommel in touch with Robben over PSV reunion|
|Pinarello chief confident over Team Sky future|
|Stade make Ospreys tickets free in tribute to teenager|
|WRC great Loeb seals Hyundai switch|
|Madrid rumours better than sack talk, says Pochettino|
|Nadal to join Federer at 2019 Laver Cup|
|Prigoda smashes world record, Hosszu dethroned in Hangzhou|
|Former Juve CEO Marotta takes over at Inter|
|Glenn to stand down as FA boss next year|
|Muller apologises to Tagliafico for kick to the head|
|Pereira pleads for more Manchester United chances|
|Griffin hails ´phenomenal´ Lowry after Warriors demolition|
|I´ve played with Zidane and Henry, but Messi is something else – Pires|
|Dragons forward Jack de Belin charged with sexual assault|
|Durant: Raptors are the real deal|
|Cocu bids farewell to Fenerbahce after ´mutual agreement´ is made over October sacking|
|Australia unchanged for historic Perth Test|
|Champions League draw: The possible last-16 ties|
|Southee happy to be back on home soil|
|I wouldn´t swap Dembele for Neymar – Pires|
|Canelo ready to risk heavy weather against Fielding|
|Raptors upstage Warriors, Davis leads Pelicans with 44 points|
|India skipper Kohli excited by green Perth wicket|
|PSG? I haven´t decided my future yet – De Jong|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid don´t have attitude problem|
|India pair Ashwin, Rohit ruled out of second Test|
|Kovac: Ajax-Bayern draw was amazing|
|Sims re-signs with Dragons until 2022|
|Derrius Guice injury update: Redskins RB (knee) has rehab setback, undergoes 3 more procedures|
|Emery: Arsenal could sign defender in January|
|Phillies sign McCutchen to three-year deal|
|O´Neal thinks his Lakers teams could ´easily´ beat Warriors|
|A-League to add two clubs by 2020|
|Curry says he was ´obviously joking´ about moon landing comments|
|Now the beautiful part starts – Ronaldo ready for Champions League knockout stage|
|Bayern have a lot more potential – Lewandowski not satisfied despite top spot|
|Lyon star Fekir shares plaudits for Champions League progression|
|Mourinho not surprised by United´s defeat to Valencia|
|Motivation no issue for Benfica, claims Vitoria|
|Lewandowski finishes Champions League group stage as top scorer|
|Mourinho: We scored two goals and lost 2-1!|
|England have a diamond - Guardiola hails City´s Foden|
|Sterling´s carefree display invites us to love football more than others hate|
|Juventus achieved their objective, despite everything going wrong – Allegri|
|Never say never - Schmidt not ruling out All Blacks role|
|Bologna´s winning start ended in BCL|
|Di Francesco critical of Roma performance|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Lyon 1: Fekir fires French side through in Group F|
|Benfica 1 AEK Athens 0: Grimaldo sends hosts out on a high|
|Young Boys 2 Juventus 1: Hoarau double seals famous victory|
|Manchester City 2 Hoffenheim 1: City through as group winners after Sane brace|
|Ajax 3 Bayern Munich 3: Kovac´s men clinch top spot in Amsterdam thriller|
|Valencia 2 Manchester United 1: Jones scores own goal as Red Devils limp through|
|Solari accepts responsibility for Madrid´s heaviest home defeat in Europe|
|WATCH: Rooney backs Rocky ahead of Canelo showdown|
|McLaren to collaborate with Team Bahrain Merida|
|Las Vegas to host 2020 NFL Draft|
|Stade teenager tragically dies after neck injury|
|Cahill may need to leave Chelsea if he wants to play, admits Sarri|
|Viktoria Plzen 2 Roma 1: Chory winner takes hosts into Europa League|
|Real Madrid 0 CSKA Moscow 3: Champions humiliated at Bernabeu|
|Sarri condemns ´disgusting´ Sterling abuse|
|Hansen hails outstanding Ben Smith ahead of Pau switch|
|Foden, Sterling start for Manchester City v Hoffenheim|
|Sky decision will not affect us in 2019, insist Froome and Thomas|
|Al Ain 3 Team Wellington 3 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Shootout heartbreak for semi-pros in Club World|
|Jackson to remain Ravens´ starting QB despite Flacco return|
|Rams headline 2019 NFL International Series home teams|
|Rams headline International Series home teams for 2019|