England narrowly failed to complete a record run chase as New Zealand won the first NatWest Twenty20 International at The Oval by five runs.
Ravi Bopara failed to hit a six from the final ball, which would have sent the game into a super over, after New Zealand set a target of 201 for four - their highest total on foreign soil.
That meant England had to better their best ever chase - the 178 they managed against India in Mumbai last December - and were on course for the majority on a fast-paced surface.
But their pursuit faltered on the back of some inspired captaincy from Brendon McCullum, who earlier joined Hamish Rutherford in a blistering 114-run stand.
With England 134 for two in the 14th over McCullum rolled the dice and left in a slip for Eoin Morgan.
The stand-in England skipper obliged by slashing a chance that Ross Taylor brilliantly held on to before Luke Wright edged behind in the next over for a 34-ball 52.
Bopara and Jos Buttler - just two of the players retained from Sunday's Champions Trophy defeat to India - edged them close but they ended up losing by the same margin again.
Morgan led the side in the absence of Stuart Broad and his fellow Irishman Boyd Rankin, the 6ft 7in quick, was handed his England debut.
While he took four balls to snare his first wicket for his adopted country, Rutherford and McCullum took charge thereafter to make Morgan's decision to send them in appear the wrong one.
England got off to the flying start they required in pursuit as openers Alex Hales and Michael Lumb crashed 50 from the first 28 balls.
Lumb brought up the landmark with a straight six off Nathan McCullum, but unluckily jammed the next ball into his pads and on to his stumps.
Hales cleared the ropes in a Mitchell McClenaghan over that cost 25 as the six-over powerplay yielded 67 for one - 13 runs better off than New Zealand at the same stage.
The tall opener was given a life on 31 when Tom Latham missed a simple stumping chance off Ronnie Hira.
Hales' initial fluidity then started to escape him, although Wright typically began with busy aggression, to keep England ahead of the rate.
Hales mis-hit a Ronnie Hira full-toss down the throat of deep mid-wicket, but Wright loomed as the key man as he reached 50 off 29 balls.
With New Zealand starting to need wickets Brendon McCullum bravely inserted a slip to Morgan and, when Wright followed, England suddenly neeed 63 from the last five overs.
With two new men at the crease, Bopara and Jos Buttler, it looked an unlikely task especially after both were involved in Sunday's calamitous late collapse.
But they reduced the ask to 26 from the last two overs, which further decreased when Buttler scooped Butler for six to start the penultimate over.
Buttler was then run out at the non-striker's end, when wicketkeeper Latham's shy caught him short, to leave 16 needed from the final over from Corey Anderson.
Ben Stokes hit the first ball for six, but when Bopara needed to repeat the dose at the end fell short.
Earlier, Rankin quickly removed James Franklin to an inside edge, but Rutherford and McCullum then took up the long handle.
Chris Woakes' first over cost 19, including a Rutherford swipe into the square-leg crowd, before the left-hander was given a life on 25 when
Bopara grassed a tough chance above his head at point.
Rutherford cashed in as he heaved James Tredwell for back-to-back maximums before pulling him to the rope to bring up his first Twenty20 half-century from 28 balls.
McCullum was hardly quiet himself, on his way to a 36-ball 50, and another six from Rutherford brought up the 100-run stand from 59 balls.
Morgan was forced to shuffle his bowlers and while Bopara produced a comical wide from his first ball, the skipper's seventh option, Wright, made the breakthrough when Rutherford mis-timed a lofted drive to Hales at deep mid-off.
With McCullum, the world's top-ranked T20 batsman, still at the crease England had reason to fear the worst as he took a Bopara over for 22.
But Wright fired a yorker under his swinging blade, to end a 48-ball 68, and while Taylor and Latham added a further 39 from 24 balls England avoided complete calamity at the end.