An electric fourth-wicket partnership between Ross Taylor and Colin de Grandhomme has led the Black Caps to a tight five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Kandy this morning.
The Black Caps entered the match on some bad news after paceman Lockie Ferguson was ruled out with a tour-ending thumb fracture, but the remainder of the bowling attack stepped up.
Captain Tim Southee used varying pace to snare two wickets while Mitchell Santner slowed the run rate in the middle of the contest with his spin. The pair finished 2-20 and 1-22, respectively.
It wasn't such a positive outing for Seth Rance who finished the innings 0-58 and gave up 23 runs in Sri Lanka's final over, seeing the hosts finish 174-4 - a competitive total given the pitch was giving some batsmen trouble with timing.
The Black Caps' reply got off to a horror start with Colin Munro skittled by the first ball of the innings. Martin Guptill  and Tim Seifert  weren't far behind.
It meant things were left to de Grandhomme and Taylor to clean up and the pair delivered emphatically.
Taylor finished with a team-high 48 runs from 29 balls with three 4s and two 6s featured in his innings while de Grandhomme added 44 runs off 28 deliveries. The all-rounder scored two 6s of his own along with four 4s.
The 79-run partnership off just 6.1 overs [37 balls] helped the Black Caps reclaim control of the contest before de Grandhomme was eventually dismissed by Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga.
Taylor wasn't far behind, leaving Daryl Mitchell and Santner to score the final 31 runs needed which the pair did with three balls to spare. Mitchell scored 25 off 19 while Santner was 14 from eight.
The second T20 of the three-match series takes place on Wednesday NZT at the same venue.