Peter Fulton and Jamie How both completed half-centuries to steer New Zealand to a seven wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first one-day international in Queenstown on Saturday.
Fulton finished on 70 not out while How made 58 on his one-day international debut as the Kiwis cruised to their victory target of 165 with more than 12 overs to spare.
Sri Lanka collapsed to be all out for just 164 in their innings with Shane Bond, Jacob Oram and Kyle Mills capturing three wickets each.
Tillakaratne Dilshan top-scored with 42 off 54 balls while captain Marvan Atapattu made 35 and Russel Arnold 26 but no one else made 20 as the innings concluded in the 48th over.
New Zealand lost opener Lou Vincent for 15 and super-sub Nathan Astle for two before Fulton and How put them back on course for a big win with a 95-run partnership for the third wicket.
Fulton, playing in just his second one-day international, batted 102 minutes and faced 79 balls and hit seven fours and a six, off Muttiah Muralitharan, which brought up his 50.
How also reached his half-century with a six, hooking Lasith Malinga over the fence, to become just the fourth New Zealander to make a 50 on debut before he was bowled by Sanath Jayasuriya with victory in sight.
Sri Lanka had made a bright start to the match, reaching 23 without loss after the first eight overs, when things suddenly went wrong.
They slumped to 41-4 when Jayasuriya (12), Kumar Sangakkara (no score), Mahela Jayawardene (one) and opener Upul Tharanga (17) all fell cheaply.
Dilshan and Atapattu steadied the innings with a 64-run stand for the fifth wicket but their departures triggered another collapse which saw the last six wickets tumble for just 59 runs.
The five-game series was originally due to be played a year ago but was postponed after just one match, won by New Zealand, when parts of Asia, including Sri Lanka, were hit by a tsunami.
The second match will be played in Christchurch on Tuesday with the final two games in Wellington on Friday and Napier next Sunday.
U. Tharanga c McCullum b Oram 17
S. Jayasuriya c Vincent b Mills 12
K. Sangakkara c Fulton b Bond 0
M. Jayawardene c McCullum b Oram 1
M. Atapattu c How b Mills 35
T. Dilshan c Vincent b Bond 42
R. Arnold b Mills 26
C. Vaas c Vettori b Oram 1
F. Maharoof b Cairns 18
L. Malinga not out 1
M. Muralitharan c Vettori b Bond 0
Extras (lb-6 nb-1 w-4) 11
Total (all out, 47.2 overs) 164
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-25, 3-34, 4-41, 5-105, 6-132, 7-139, 8-150, 9-162, 10-163.
Bowling: K. Mills 10-2-31-3 (w-2), S. Bond 8.2-1-29-3 (w-1), J. Oram 10-0-31-3, C. Cairns 8-0-42-1 (nb-1 w-1), D. Vettori 10-1-22-0, S. Styris 1-0-3-0.
L. Vincent c Sangakkara b Vaas 15
J. How b Jayasuriya 58
N. Astle lbw b Muralitharan 2
P. Fulton not out 70
H. Marshall not out 16
Extras (lb-1 w-4) 5
Total (for 3 wickets, 37.2 overs) 166
Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-41, 3-136.
Did not bat: S. Styris, J. Oram, C. Cairns, B. McCullum, D. Vettori, K.Mills
Bowling: C. Vaas 9-2-38-1, L. Malinga 6-0-44-0 (w-3), M. Muralitharan 10-1-29-1 (w-1), S. Jayasuriya 8.2-2-36-1, F. Maharoof 4-0-18-0.
Result: New Zealand won by 7 wickets