Opener Lou Vincent smashed the highest one-day score by a New Zealander as the Black Caps flirted with a world record total before thrashing Zimbabwe by 192 runs in the triangular series in Bulawayo on Wednesday.
Vincent top-scored with 172 in a New Zealand total of 397 for five in 44 overs before Zimbabwe were dismissed for 205 in 43 overs.
The match, the first in a triangular series also involving India, was reduced to 44 overs per side after the start was delayed by a damp pitch.
New Zealand hit 39 fours and 16 sixes, a total of 252 runs in boundaries, while Zimbabwe fast bowler Andy Blignaut's return of two for 96 in nine overs was the third most expensive in one-day history.
The 349 for nine New Zealand made against India in Rajkot in 1999-00 was their previous highest innings.
Vincent attacked the bowling from the outset and his maiden century, which included 16 fours and nine sixes in 119 balls, surpassed Glenn Turner's 171 not out against East Africa in a 60-over match at the 1975 World Cup.
Vincent and captain Stephen Fleming, who scored 93, shared in an opening stand of 204 -- the biggest partnership by New Zealand for any wicket.
Fleming had also held the previous record of 193 with Nathan Astle against Pakistan in 2001.
Zimbabwe squandered a chance to dismiss Fleming for eight in the sixth over when debutant Anthony Ireland, fielding at mid-off, dived forward but dropped a catch which would have earned a wicket for medium pacer Blessing Mahwire.
Vincent set the tone early when he hit the last three balls of the second over, bowled by Mahwire, over long-off for six, through extra cover for four and to fine leg for four.
In the 27th over, he smashed medium pacer Ireland high over midwicket for six to reach three figures and break New Zealand's one-day partnership record.
Two balls later, Fleming drove a head-high catch to Heath Streak at extra cover, ending an aggressive 87-ball knock which included eight fours and four sixes.
Vincent and Craig McMillan (47) brought up their century stand for the second wicket off just 50 balls but the partnership was ended at 122 when McMillan holed out to Blessing Mahwire at long-off off Blignaut.
Blignaut dismissed Vincent in his next over when Prosper Utseya sprinted from the square leg boundary to take a spectacular diving catch.
New Zealand went into the final over needing 12 runs to break the world record but their momentum was slowed when Jacob Oram was caught by Brendan Taylor off Mahwire for a first-ball duck.
Taylor and Stuart Carlisle made a steady start to Zimbabwe's reply with a stand of 62 that ended in the 15th over when Taylor was caught in the gully by Styris off medium pacer Cairns for 36.
New Zealand then took wickets regularly against the demoralised Zimbabweans with left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, who came in as a substitute for Fleming and took over the captaincy, finishing with three for 29 in eight overs.
Scores of 25 by Carlisle and substitute Charles Coventry, and Streak's run-a-ball 45 were the home side's only other noteworthy contributions.
India play New Zealand in the second match of the tournament in Bulawayo on Friday.