A hat-trick from Trent Boult, along with a 130-run partnership between Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, has propelled the Blackcaps to a 47-run victory in the opening a one-day international (ODI) against Pakistan on Thursday (NZ time).
The win is the first for new coach Gary Stead, after his team were swept during the recent T20 series against Pakistan.
On top of that, the Blackcaps have now won 12 straight ODIs against Pakistan - a winning streak that stretches back to 2014.
The highlight on the night was Boult's hat-trick in a man-of-the-match performance that sent three of Pakistan's best batsmen packing early in their chase in Abu Dhabi.
The 30-year-old arrived in the UAE only three days ago, bouncing with joy at becoming a father for the first time.
Boult took the hat-trick in his second over with his eighth, ninth and 10th deliveries to reduce Pakistan to 8/3, as they chased 267 to win.
He first took the wicket of opener Fakhar Zaman, who edged the ball onto the stumps. Boult then claimed Babar Azam, who hit the ball straight to Ross Taylor at wide slip.
Mohammad Hafeez was the third victim, as a Boult in-swinger hit the Pakistani's pad, dismissing him leg before wicket (lbw).
Boult is the third Blackcaps bowler to achieve the feat, joining Danny Morrison (vs India in Napier, 1994) and Shane Bond (vs Australia in Hobart, 2007). It's the 46th in ODI cricket.
White Ferns Emily Drumm and Julie Harris have also bowled ODI hat-tricks.
Earlier, the Blackcaps finished their 50 overs on 266/9, thanks to a steady 130-run partnership between Ross Taylor (80) and Tom Latham (68).
Batting first after winning the toss, New Zealand began poorly, with George Worker (one) and Colin Munro (29) falling in the early overs, as teenager Shaheen Shah Afridi tore through the Blackcaps top order.
Captain Kane Williamson then fell nine overs later, when he played an uncharacteristic shot to give short midwicket an easy catch, leaving his side on 78/3.
Taylor and Latham then put the Blackcaps in a great position to reach 300, but a collapse in the final 10 overs saw New Zealand lose the next four wickets off eight balls.
Latham was the first to depart, trapped in front of the wicket, and then Henry Nicholls departed the same way to the next ball.
Colin de Grandhomme survived the hat-trick ball, but was caught off the next delivery, as Shadab Khan bowled a three-wicket maiden over. Taylor fell in the following over to Imad Wasim.
Ish Sodhi (24) and Tim Southee (20) did their best to gather late runs and both were dismissed in the penultimate over.
Khan finished with best figures of 4/38 from 10 overs, while Afridi was 4/46.
Pakistan's chase got off to a terrible start when Boult snared his hat-trick. They briefly recovered, before losing their next three wickets for 14 runs.
Captain Sarfraz Ahmed (64) and Wasim (50) anchored a 103-run partnership that brought the hosts right back into the match.
Ahmed departed when de Grandhomme bowled him in the 41st over, leaving Pakistan on 188/7 and needing 79 runs in the final eight overs for victory.
But they fell well short of the mark, as they lost their remaining three wickets for just one run and were bowled out for 219 in the 48th over.
Lockie Ferguson took the final two wickets off consecutive balls and finished with best figures of 3/36, with Boult claiming 3/54.
The second ODI is on Saturday, with the third scheduled for Monday.