New Zealand thrashed England by six wickets to claim the opening contest of their five-match one-day international series on Saturday, the hosts controlling proceedings from start to finish to win with 20 overs to spare.
New Zealand looked a different side from the one that was outclassed in the two Twenty20 internationals that preceded this series and handed England a first loss on the tour after skittling out the tourists for a feeble 130 in 49.4 overs.
The hosts welcomed back regular captain Daniel Vettori and all-rounder Jacob Oram from injury and never allowed England to settle into their innings after skipper Paul Collingwood had won the toss and opted to bat on a blustery day in the capital.
Vettori said despite heavy defeats in the Twenty20 matches, his team remained confident of competing better in the one-day game.
"The way we bowled and batted was one of the best performances we've put in for a while," Vettori told reporters after his batsmen had reached 131-4 from exactly 30 overs.
In front of a crowd of 16,000, the sluggish pitch was not to England's liking and they limped to 69-4 by the halfway mark, pressured into making some poor shots off New Zealand's accurate bowling and sharp fielding.
Wickets continued to fall in the second half of the innings, leaving the lower order with no alternative other than to accumulate runs steadily in a bid to see out the 50 overs.
England hardly helped their cause by managing to have three players run out in a woeful display of batting.
By contrast, New Zealand's openers were soon into their stride, with debutant Jessie Ryder hitting the first six of the match off James Anderson in the fourth over.
Both Ryder and fellow opener Brendon McCullum lived dangerously at times, but it was the latter who brought up the New Zealand 50 in the eleventh over, blasting a Ryan Sidebottom delivery 12 rows into the crowd over the long on boundary.
Both batsmen fell to Stuart Broad, the best of the English bowlers, with McCullum top scoring for the hosts with 42 from as many balls.
English opener Phil Mustard top-scored for the tourists with a patient 31 off 60 deliveries as the New Zealand attack worked hard to keep the batsmen pinned down, Chris Martin, Scott Styris and Jeetan Patel all chipping in with two wickets apiece.
The teams travel to Hamilton for the second match of the series on Tuesday.
Collingwood said his side struggled with a pitch which varied in pace and were looking to redeem themselves in the next match.
"We've got the confidence there that we can turn it around," Collingwood said.
The two sides will also play a three-match test series following the one-dayers.