A solid 82 by Henry Nicholls followed by a ninth-wicket batting blitz carried New Zealand to a convincing 70-run victory in the opening one-day international against Pakistan in Wellington on Monday.
In reply to New Zealand's 280-8, Pakistan were skittled out for 210 with four overs remaining.
Nicholls apart, New Zealand's recognised run-makers struggled against a fired-up Pakistan attack, with the other six batsmen in the top seven contributing just 47 in total.
The hosts were in a perilous position at 99-6 before Mitchell Santner joined Nicholls in a 79-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan then added 73 off 33 balls in a closing onslaught to ensure a target which eventually proved too much for Pakistan.
"If we're going to be honest we should have got them out for 200-odd, seeing the start we had," a disappointed Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower said.
"The short ball worked to a certain extent but we overdid it, and we didn't learn and we just didn't bowl enough yorkers."
Man-of-the-match Nicholls, only in the side as cover for the injured Ross Taylor, said it was a matter of making the most of his opportunity.
"It's nice to be able to do that," he said, adding he was philosophical about being dropped by Mohammad Hafeez on 15.
"I was a bit more dirty on the shot rather than worried about what happened with the catch. It was meant to be and it was a life I needed."
After Azhar Ali (19) and Ahmed Shehzad (13) fell early in Pakistan's innings, Hafeez and Babar Azam lifted Pakistan's confidence.
They cruised past the 100 mark in the 23rd over, the same as New Zealand, but with only two wickets down.
However, the brittle nature of the Pakistan batting was highlighted as Kane Williamson broke their stand when he had Hafeez caught at long on for 42.
Azam, without attempting to boost the run rate, continued on to 62 off 76 deliveries before he miscued an attempt to hook Corey Anderson and sent the ball straight to Nicholls at deep midwicket.
Sarfraz Ahmed (30) and Anwar Ali (16) put on 35 for the seventh wicket but their partnership ended when they tried to lift the scoring and Ahmed was well caught by Anderson on the boundary.
Where the New Zealand tail had exploded, Pakistan's fizzled out - with the last four wickets falling for five runs.
Trent Boult finished with four for 40 while Grant Elliott, who removed openers Ali and Shehzad as well as Sohaib Maqsood, took three for 43.
After being sent into bat on a windy Wellington day, New Zealand never really settled against a hostile Pakistan attack.
Openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham were both out for 11, with Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Amir taking a wicket each.
Amir in his second spell removed Anderson (10) and Luke Ronchi (5) in the space of three balls.
Anwar Ali also took a double in quick succession when he broke a 45-run stand for the third wicket by Kane Williamson and Nicholls.
He bowled Williamson for 10 and two balls later bowled Elliott without scoring, before returning later to claim the prized scalp of Nicholls.
New Zealand coasted to a 70-run victory in the first one-dayer at Wellington to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series against Pakistan.
Chasing a target of 281, Pakistan came up short despite valiant knocks from Hafeez (42), Azam (62) and Sarfraz (30) with Elliott (3-43) doing the early damage while Boult claimed four for 40.
Boult cleans up last man Irfan as Pakistan are bowled out for 210 in 46 overs.
Mohammad Irfan b Boult 0 (3b)
Boult claims his third wicket as Amir gives himself room only to be castled.Pak 210-9, 45.3 overs.
Mohammad Amir b Boult 0 (5b)
Boult strikes twice as Anwar hits hiim straight to the fielder at midwicket. Pak 206-8, 43.4 overs.
Anwar Ali c Latham b Boult 16 (22b 0x4 1x6)
Sarfraz is gone failing to clear the fielder on the fence at midwickwet. Pak 205-7, 43.2 overs.
Sarfraz Ahmed c Anderson b Boult 30 (29b 3x4)
Sarfraz hammers a couple of bounaries off Henry to keep Pakistan in the hunt. Pak 203-6, 43 overs.
Anwar has swung Boult for a flat six to step up the tempo. Pak 190-6, 42 overs.
Pakistan need 105 off the last 10. Pak 176-6, 40 overs.
Wasim perishes being caught behind down the leg side. Pak 170-6, 37.3 overs.
Imad Wasim c Ronchi b Santner 1 (4b)
Anderson is undone by a short ball from Anderson. Pak 168-5, 36.4 overs.
Babar Azam c Nicholls b Anderson 62 (76b 6x4)
Sarfraz sweeps Santner for a boundary after having survived a run out attempt earlier. Pak 165-4, 36 overs.
Babar pulls Anderson to square leg for a boundary before the drinks interval. Pak 158-4, 35 overs.
Elliott has done it again as Maqsood departs hooking straight to the fielder in the deep. Pak 142-3, 32.1 overs.
Sohaib Maqsood c sub (Milne) b Elliott 10 (16b 1x4)
Babar completes his half century off 60 balls. Pak 141-3, 31 overs.
Williamson breaks the partnership with his innocuous spin as Hafeez miscues to long-on. Pak 118-3, 26.3 overs.
Mohammad Hafeez c Henry b Williamson 42 (56b 1x4 1x6)
Hafeez slams Elliott over long-on for a six. Pak 111-2, 25 overs.
Hafeez swings Henry to backward square leg for a boundary to bring up the 100 of the innings in 23.2 overs.
Babar is turning it on lofting Santner to mid-off and pulling to midwicket for a couple of boundaries.
Babar pulls Anderson for a boundary. Pak 71-2, 19 overs.
Elliott gets another one as Shehzad perishes holing out to mid-off. Pak 37-2, 11 overs.
Ahmed Shehzad c Williamson b Elliott 13 (23b)
New Zealand have send down two maiden overs as Pakistan are stuck on 33-1 after 10 overs.
Elliott draws first blood as Azhar gets a rush of blood and top edges to mid-on. Pak 33-1, 8.4 overs.
Azhar Ali c Henry b Elliott 19 (35b 1x4 1x6)
Azhar flicks Boult over backward square leg for a six as Pakistan begin chasing 281. Pak 33-0, 8 overs.
New Zealand innings
New Zealand made a splendid recovery to make 280-8 after being stuttering at 99-6, thanks to a half century from Nicholls (82), Santner (48) and a whirlwind partnership between Henry (48 not out) and McLenaghan (31 retired hurt).
Mathew McClenaghan retired hurt 31 (18b 3x4 2x6)
Boundaries and sixes keep flow with Riaz going for 67. NZ 267-8, 49 overs.
Henry edges a boundary and blasts a massive six to bring up the 50 partnership with McClenaghan off just 22 balls. NZ 255-8, 48 overs.
Riaz goes for 19 with Henry hammering a couple of sixes as the Kiwis taile wags.NZ 228-8, 46 overs.
Anwar claims his third wicket by castling Nicholls who drags a ball from outside off onto his stumps. NZ 203-8, 44.2 overs.
Henry Nicholls b Anwar Ali 82 (111b 7x4)
Irfan strikes as Santner is undone by a bouncer with Sarfraz pouching the skier. NZ 178-7, 38.4 overs.
Mitchell Santner c Sarfraz Ahmed b Irfan 48 (63b 5x4)
Santner gives Azhar the charge producing a glorious straight drive to the fence. NZ 177-6, 38 overs.
Santner is taking on the spinners edging Azhar past the vacant slip for a boundary. NZ 156-6, 34 overs.
Santner brings up the 50 partnership off 65 balls with Nicholls with a lovely off drive to the fence off Wasim. NZ 149-6, 33 overs.
Nicholls is waging a lone battle and completes his half century. NZ 137-6, 31 overs.
Nicholls breaks the ice by driving Riaz to the point boundary followed by a push to third man fence.
Santner slams Amir down the ground with sweet timing glancing off the bowler's boot. NZ 109-6, 25 overs.
Amir claims his third as Ronchi gets an outside edge to the keeper. NZ 99-6, 22.1 overs.
Luke Ronchi c Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir 5 (7b 1x4)
Ronchi opens his account by square driving Amir to the cover boundary. NZ 97-5, 21 overs.
Amir has struck on his return for a new spell as Anderson is caught behind attempting a pull shot only to edge it. NZ 93-5, 20.4 overs.
Corey Anderson c Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir 10 (19b 1x4)
Double blow by Anwar as Elliot goes for a duck being castled almost in similar fashion to his skipper with the ball nipping back through a yawning gap as he attempts a booming drive. NZ 70-4, 15.5 overs.
Grant Elliott b Anwar Ali 0 (2b)
Anwar gets the big wicket of Williamson who is castled off an inside edge.NZ 70-3, 15.3 overs.
Kane Williamson b Anwar Ali 11 (17b)
Nicholls slashes Nicholls over slip for a boundary. NZ 68-2, 15 overs.
New Zealand get a welcome boundary as Nicholls punches Anwar throught the covers. NZ 64-2, 14 overs.
Nicholls greets Anwar by driving him through the covers and is dropped on 15 next ball by Hafeez at slip. NZ 45-2, 10 overs.
First bowling change as Anwar comes into the attack.
Nicholls opens his account by hooking a bouncer from Irfan to the square leg fence followed by another delightful clip to the boundary. NZ 34-2, 7 overs.
Pakistan successfully reverse a not out decision after Latham has gloved a rising delivery from Amir. NZ 25-2, 5.2 overs.
Tom Latham c Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir 11 (15b 1x4)
Irfan has the last laugh and draws first blood as Guptill miscues to midwicket. NZ 23-1, 5 overs.
Martin Guptill c Wahab Riaz b Mohammad Irfan 11 (17b 1x4 1x6)
Guptill finally breaks the shackles slamming Irfan over long off for the first six of the match.
Latham gets going by driving giant Irfan through the covers for a boundary. NZ 12-0, 3 overs.
Guptill cracks Irfan through the covers to open New Zealand's account. NZ 4-0, 1 over.
Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali has won the toss and opted to bowl first in the 1st match against New Zealand at Wellington.
New Zealand: TWM Latham, MJ Guptill, KS Williamson, CJ Anderson, HM Nicholls, GD Elliott, MJ Santner, L Ronchi, MJ Henry, MJ McClenaghan, TA Boult, BB McCullum, AF Milne, C Munro, BJ Watling
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Sohaib Maqsood, Imad Wasim, Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan, Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq, Rahat Ali, Zafar Gohar