England romped to a 40-run victory in the first of three Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday.
Set 215 to win after England achieved their highest T20 total, the New Zealand batsmen never really threatened to reach the target, finishing at 9-174 from their 20 overs.
Stuart Broad (4-24) was the chief destroyer and Luke Wright had good cause to be satisfied with a lively spell of four overs that yielded 2-29, while Steve Finn chimed in with 3-39 from his four overs.
New Zealand debutant Hamish Rutherford began the chase with a quickfire 18 off 11 balls, including a straight six off Broad, but was out the next ball when he was caught at mid-wicket.
Brendon McCullum's move to number three wasn't successful as he scored 10 before charging Finn, only to find Eoin Morgan running back from point to take the high ball over his shoulder.
Ross Taylor's first international knock since losing the captaincy and missing the tour of South Africa was short-lived after he was caught for 13 in the same area of the ground as McCullum.
Martin Guptill showcased some of his power-hitting ability with 44 off 32 balls, but his departure in the 13th over left New Zealand at 4-111 and needing a miracle.
Any hopes were put to bed in the 15th over when Broad picked up two wickets to all but seal the result.
England's 7-214 surpassed the 6-202 they scored against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2006 and was thanks to a combined team effort with the top six all scoring over 20.
Apart from the loss of Alex Hales (21), who was stumped by McCullum off the bowling of Ronnie Hira (2-42) when the score was 29 in the fourth over, England made a superb start.
Wright was the main reason for the visitors' strong beginning with a superb 42 from just 20 balls that included three boundaries and four sixes.
When he holed out to Hara off Andrew Ellis (2-40), Morgan came to the crease and immediately picked up where Wright left off.
He crushed four fours and three sixes on his way to 46 off 26 balls as England motored towards the 200-run mark.
Strong contributions from Jonny Bairstow (38) and Jos Buttler (32) propelled the visitors to their highest score, but it could have been even more if it wasn't for the loss of late wickets.
Trent Boult, Hira and Ellis all finished with two wickets, while Mitchell McClenaghan was solid with 1-29 from his four overs.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 09 February, 2013 11:05PM AEST