Dawid Malan became only the second England batsman to record a Twenty20 international hundred as his destructive display of power hitting led to a comprehensive 76-run victory over a chastened New Zealand in Napier.
In bludgeoning 103 not out from 51 balls, Malan joined Alex Hales in an exclusive club, minutes after Eoin Morgan had broken the England record for the fastest T20 half-century.
The pair's England best 182-run partnership formed the bedrock of their highest-ever total of 241 for three, with New Zealand getting nowhere close, all out for 165 after 16.5 overs with Matt Parkinson taking four for 47, as the series was squared at 2-2 ahead of a decider in Auckland on Sunday.
Morgan was unable to follow his former Middlesex team-mate to three figures, falling for 91 from 41 deliveries in the final over, but it was the England captain's arrival at the crease that sparked a dramatic surge in tempo.
Malan had started slowly as he took 19 from his first 18 balls but he needed only a further 31 to reach three figures - beating Hales' effort against Sri Lanka in Chittagong in 2014 by 12 deliveries.
After helping England overhaul their previous T20 best of 230 for eight against South Africa at the 2016 World Twenty20, Malan has immeasurably boosted his hopes of a squad berth in next year's T20 World Cup in Australia. Press Association
Malan is man of the match
Fully deserved and he says he felt 'in the zone'.
It is not every day you have one like that in your career - I can't describe how much fun that was.
In the first game I felt really rusty, but then as I hit balls, I felt smoother and felt I had rhythm, had got some of the rust out, so thankfully it clicked here.
These games do not come around often, and to do it on the big stage is fantastic.
Eoin Morgan speaks
Over the moon. A clinical performance given we had to win to level the series. To see Dawid score a hundred is absolutely brilliant, from soemone who hasn't had a lot of opportunities. It strengthens our squad and depth going forward, which is what we want from this tour. It was very enjoyable [the partnership]. We've played together such a long time [for Middlesex], we had a few laughs out there. It was a beautiful pitch.
Terrific, clinical performance from England
A veritable marmalisation. Rich promise from Tom Banton, outstanding performances from Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan and Matt Parkinson. The bowling unit pulled it back after an NZ shellacking early on and despite some raggedness in Parkinson's third over and from Pat Brown, they had done the damage and turned the screw.
OVER 15: NZ 154/8 (Sodhi 9* Boult 2*) chasing 242
Tom Curran also returns, begins with an off-cutter and Sodhi reads pace and movement to Howitzer it out of the ground at deep backward square. The leg-spinner and Boult exchange four singles off Curran's low full tosses to extend the damage to 10. They have as many runs as England after 15 overs but merely two wickets left. NZ require 88 off 30 balls.
OVER 14: NZ 144/8 (Sodhi 1* Boult 0*) chasing 242
Sam Curran comes back on after taking some tap in his first two. With the two spinning all-rounders in, he must fancy his chances of picking up a wicket. He strikes Sodhi on the back knee but England have burned their review and though it would have hit middle, it pitched outside leg. No bother, though, as he bags him next ball.
OVER 12: NZ 126/6 (Santner 7* Southee 27*) chasing 242
Jordan makes a magnificent attempt at soaring to hang on to a catch at mid-on when Southee cloths a drive off Brown. It trims his fingernails but he couldn't cling on. Southee carts the next ball over backward square for six and young Brown starts ticking, double teapotting, arguing with the umpire after bowling the first of three wides in the over. He finally ends the nine-ball over with a full toss slapped back for four. NZ require 116 off 48 balls.
OVER 11: NZ 109/6 (Santner 3* Southee 18*) chasing 242
Eventful over: Southee flays successive sixes off Parkinson over deep midwicket and is then dropped by Brown at long-on. He put his hands to his face, fingers pointing upwards but the ball bursts through and hits him on the cap. It was a sitter. Gregory earns Parkinson's wrath when Southee slog sweeps and the ball spins after it bounces, beating square leg who should have cut it off.
OVER 9: NZ 85/5 (Taylor 11*Santner 0*) chasing 242
Matt Parkinson is given a slip by Morgan for the hat-trick ball but Taylor negotiates it carefully, pushing a single round the corner. The batsmen cross with Mitchell's swipe in midair so Taylor is on strike and mows a six over midwicket followed by another on bended knee that flirts with the diving Morgan at midwicket and races down the ground for a single. Between those two deliveries Parkinson does Taylor in the flight, hits him on the leg as he went for a slog sweep but doesn't review, thinking it too high. But he should have ...
OVER 8: NZ 77/4 (Taylor 3*Mitchell 2*) chasing 242
Pat Brown may not have a theme tune like Parkinson and perhaps not a reverence for the Great American Songbook, but he does have variety. Taylor works a single off his pads, Brown serves up a wide and tempts Mitchell with a shorter one that elicits a swing and a miss. Five singles and two wides is a respectable enough start for Bertie Brown and his Allsorts. NZ need 165 off 72 balls. Parkinson is on a hat-trick ...
OVER 6: NZ 61/2 (Munro 28* De Grandhomme 0*) chasing 242
Jordan is barged over by Munro as he scampered to beat the throw to the non-striker's, struck in the ribs by the batsman's elbow. He gets back up and takes a wicket next ball with a lovely slower ball, his hands sliding off one side to serve up a floater that Seifert tried to turn through midwicket but took a leading edge.
OVER 5: NZ 57/1 (Munro 25* Seifert 2*) chasing 242
Tom Curran has another over and bags a wicket with his yorker, chiselled to England's centurion. Guptill had begun the over with a one-handed heave over midwicket then fell the next ball. Curran reins him in and the second-wicket partnership with blockhole balls.
OVER 4: NZ 49/0 (Guptill 23* Munro 24*) chasing 242
Enter Chris Jordan, England's best T20 quick. Munro plays tip and run to cover, Jordan drops short and Guptill carts it for six over square leg. Jordan adjusts line not length and Guptill smashes it over point and out of the ground for another Dorothy Dix. Truly 'Cornidge in the Cor Pork' as Tony Greig/Billy Birmingham would say. Terrific diving stop at short fine leg saves four and the batsmen settle for one. NZ's batting coach 'Two Metre' Peter Fulton says their strategy was limited by England's massive score: Go hard from the start.
OVER 3: NZ 34/0 (Guptill 10* Munro 22*) chasing 242
Sam Curran earned a million bucks in the IPL last year but does seem vulnerable on pitches like this. His pace - 78 mph, is so hittable with any error of judgment on length. When he drops short, Guptill pulls him easy as get out for six 20 rows back at backward square. After Guptill milks a single, Munro goes on the charge to ease a lofted drive over mid on for four. Curran spots Munro's dancing feet early next up and pushes it wider ... too wide. Munro dinks two down the ground then late cuts down to third man for three.
OVER 1: NZ 8/0 (Guptill 1* Munro 7*) chasing 242
The pitch is a road. Flat, flat, flat. Not an English road, pockmarked by potholes ... Sam Curran opens the bowling for England and begins promisingly with three dot balls until Guptill gets away with a single off his hip. Munro exploits Curran's inswinger that starts on middle and leg, flicking it fine for four then works three off his toes through square.
OVER 20: ENG 241/3 (Malan 101* Billings 0*)
Captain Southee does a far, far better thing as Sydney Carton would have done, by taking the final over himself. Morgan collars a six, swatting it over midwicket for six but is out next ball and Malan adds a single off the penultimate ball. Southee bounces Billings and gets away with it, a dot ball to end.
OVER 19: ENG 233/2 (Malan 101* Morgan 85*)
Daryl Mitchell comes into the attack because they don't want to risk Sodhi bowling a fourth after the mugging two overs ago. Morgan bombs him over long off for six then top edges a slog sweep for six more. That takes these two to England's highest T20 partnership - 165. Mitchell reins it back with a slow bouncer dot ball that looked like a wide but wasn't given. Morgan takes it out on the next ball and hammers it over long on, flat, for six followed by four between midwicket and mid-on. This is now England's highest T20 score, beating 230 v SA. Records tumbling. Call Roy Castle.
OVER 18: ENG 208/2 (Malan 101* Morgan 61*)
Morgan walks across his pegs to try to fiddle a glance as Boult comes round the wicket but reaps only a leg-bye. Malan flays the next ball over wide long on for six to move into the nineties and take England to 200. The low full toss strikes Malan on the right big toe and he limps a leg-bye. Truly a sandshoe crusher. Morgan punches a single down to long-on and Malan ends the over by bringing up England's fastest T20 ton, flogging six over cow corner to pip Alex Hales with a 48-ball century.
OVER 17: ENG 193/2 (Malan 89* Morgan 60*)
Malan has to stretch to reach Sodhi's first ball with his premeditated reverse-sweep. Would have been wide had he not connected, but he did and skelped it for four. The next delivery is mullered over cow corner for a flat six followed by six more over long off, a wonderful stroke. Another reverse-sweep earns four more before his third six off the over, larruped with a slog sweep over deep midwicket. The final ball would have been a wide, too, except Malan tickled one pitched a foot outside leg stump fine for two. Twenty-eight off the over. Malan moves to 89 off 44 balls.
OVER 16: ENG 165/2 (Malan 61* Morgan 60*)
Tickner, who is going at 14, will bowl out. He adopts a fuller length, restricting them to two singles off the first three balls, the second of which raises the century partnership off 49 balls. Morgan then bludgeons a straight drive, clearing the front leg, straight for four. Morgan is again caught off a no-ball, a solar-plexus high full toss, so Malan enjoys another free hit. He attempts the scoop from the gimme but it's a slow ball off-cutter and the wrong stroke. It's a dot ball.
OVER 15: ENG 156/2 (Malan 59* Morgan 54*)
Morgan and Malan cross while the ball was in the air so Malan faces the free hit that Santner fires into the blockhole. Malan digs it out for one. Excellent over from Santner, though, as he recovers his poise after the mayhem in his previous over and the full bunger to start this, his last. England scratch three singles and add a wide and the extra run for the no-ball.
OVER 14: ENG 149/2 (Malan 57* Morgan 51*)
Fifty for Dawid Malan following the 55 in nelson and 39 in Wellington. He brings it up with a punishing square cut off Southee for four then the queerest of T20 fish, a three off a drive through cover. Morgan's back must be in better shape if he's running that quickly. Morgan then raises his 50 off 21 deliveries with successive fours, the first hammered past the bowler, the next thumped through point. Malan ends the over with a fourth boundary, slapped contemptuously over cover. Twenty off the over, 76 off the last five.
OVER 13: ENG 129/2 (Malan 39* Morgan 40*)
There's throwing the bat and throwing the bat. Malan kitchen sinks a drive off Tickner with such power he loses his grip and the bat sails through the infield as they run the first of five singles. Malan complements the ones with a four driven over cover with glorious timing.
OVER 12: ENG 120/2 (Malan 39* Morgan 40*)
Back comes Boult, digs his first one in and Morgan plays an extravagant back foot drive that earns him four ... through third man. They all count. They milk him for four singles and Morgan bookends the over with a four driven one-bounce over mid-on with a skip down and a followthrough that takes the bat round the clock until it almost whacks his own tuchas.
OVER 11: ENG 108/2 (Malan 37* Morgan 30*)
Malan has had enough of working Santner around, has a swish and thick edges it, spooning it through the vacant slips for two. Malan then drops to one knee to murder the ball over long on for six and follows it with a retreat to the legside and a lofted drive over extra for four. Malan chips a single past the diving bowler through midwicket and Morgan joins the pongo party with a six over point, more thick edge than middle, and a single dinked down the ground. Santner's figures have been violated by some Middlesex GBH.
OVER 10: ENG 88/2 (Malan 24* Morgan 23*)
After his reprieve, Malan swipes at Tickner and heaves it over mid-on for four. Not the greatest timing but it beats the field and dribbles down to the boundary. Morgan again wallops a six with a mistimed slog over midwicket, having walked across his stumps to the offside. Going on another wander, this time to the legside, anticipating astutely that Tickner would adjust his line, Morgan chips an inside-out drive over cover for four.
OVER 9: ENG 73/2 (Malan 19* Morgan 13*)
Help yourself. The ball sticks in Sodhi's hand, he drags it down and Morgan smites it over deep backward square for six. He didn't connect properly, the ball coming off the toe, but with such force that even the biggest boundary could not contain it. Another heave round the corner earns two more followed by a single each before he takes the aerial route once more and is dropped at cow corner by Mitchell who caught it momentarily and threw it up on the dive fearing he was about to hit the rope but there was no one to complete the relay.
OVER 7: ENG 57/1 (Banton 31* Malan 17*)
Ish Sodhi comes into the attack - would have brought Santner back for one more had it been my call. The tall leggie is bowling into the wind which messes with the batsmen's timing as he tosses it into the breeze. They take him for four singles with pushes, prods and assorted 'nicely nurdled, Sirs' until Malan contorts himself to play a perfect reverse-sweep, bulleting the ball past point for four.
OVER 6: ENG 48/1 (Banton 29* Malan 10*)
The pitch is quite slow for one so dry. Malan waits and prods a single, Banton gorges on a gimme, flicking Tickner off his thigh pad for four. The next ball is another pie, back of a length on leg stump. Banton picks it up and lifts it one bounce over square leg for four. Tickner bangs the next one in and Banton, pure KP, rocks back and pulls it high and handsomely in front of square for six. Tickner or Tapner?
OVER 5: ENG 31/1 (Banton 13* Malan 9*)
Malan works a single off Southee's first ball and Banton smears four through cover with syrupy sweet timing. The left-handed Malan creams a cover drive for four, too, to add to a single from Banton shipped through the legside and two from Yorkshire's latest recruit off his pads through square leg. Costly over.
OVER 3: ENG 16/0 (Banton 8* Bairstow 8*)
Bairstow going on a bear hunt - he can't go under the infield, can't go through it so goes over it twice, once for a four clubbed over mid on and then for a single sliced steeplingly high over point. Banton walks when given out, perhaps unused to the review system that doesn't exist in domestic T20s. Bairstow persuades him to review at the last second and he does so, successfully.
OVER 2: ENG 11/0 (Banton 8* Bairstow 3*)
Captain Southee shares the new ball and Banton begins where he left off with a clip through midwicket, this time for two. The breeze is helping Southee's outswing, Boult's inswing. Banton drives down the pitch for a single and Bairstow finally gets a hot, leg-glancing his first ball, more of a whip than an orthodox glance, fine for two. He drops the next ball at his feet and is called through by Banton then sent back. Banton almost committed homicide on his new and future Welsh Fire opening partner. Fortunately for friendly relations Bairstow made his ground.
OVER 1: ENG 5/0 (Banton 5* Bairstow 0*)
Boult begins with a hooping inswinger on this belter of a pitch and tickles it fine for four. This isn't a drop-in pitch and is behaving beautifully for the batsman. Lightning quick outfield, too. Banton has a couple of yahoos across the line without connecting - Boult is certainly swinging it, then pinches the strike off the last ball with a clip through midwicket.
Teams for those who prefer black and white
New Zealand Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (w/k), Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (capt), Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Blair Tickner
England Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (capt), Sam Billings (w/k), Lewis Gregory, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Matt Parkinson, Pat Brown.
Looks a heavenly afternoon at McLean Park. England last played there in 2013 in an ODI won by eight wickets when Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root all made fifties and Jimmy Anderson took five for 34.
And welcome to Napier (actually Victoria, London, I know my place) for the fourth T20I of the five-match series against New Zealand. England begin today's day-night match 2-1 down after running the changes during the season, looking for one or two bolters for next year's World T20 in Australia.
The final of that tournament, its first running for four years after cramming the previous six into nine years, takes place on Nov 15 2020 at the MCG and whatever England's travails here with their experimental squad, they'll arrive in Australia with Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali et al restored to the ranks and in far stronger shape.
The team for today's match includes two changes, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Jordan replacing Saqib Mahmood and James Vince. NZ also make two changes: Trent Boult is back for Lockie Ferguson and Daryl Mitchell for Jimmy Neesham.