Queenstown: A superb unbeaten hundred from Tom Banton, ably supported by a half-century from Jack Davies, rescued England from 48/3 and helped them post 263.
England’s stand-in captain Will Jacks won the toss and chose to bat, and saw his team struggle to score at first.
England managed just 23 runs off their first 10 overs, losing Liam Banks bowled aiming an expansive drive at Luke Georgeson. Some respite came immediately following the first Power play.
Banton was particularly impressive. Despite making a half-century against Australia, his dismissal drew criticism for the choice of stroke – a reverse sweep – especially when it sparked an ignominious slide.
He was determined to make it count, spending four balls on 99 before inside-edging a single, and only allowing himself release after passing the landmark, smashing two sixes, the first over deep midwicket, the second into his hands before he stepped on the rope, before being caught attempting a third.
Another six was carried over the boundary from the bat of Tom Scriven as England recorded 261/7.
New Zealand were misfields and some tough drops, but also some excellent placements from Kaylum Boshier, who can take credit for two wickets with inventive positioning, and a superb spell of 3/29 from Luke Georgeson.
Allen in particular was supreme, showing all the deftness, power, maturity and aggression that brought him an unbeaten century and a 90 off 40 in his first two innings. But his dismissal, falling to a marginal LBW dismissal, triggered a remarkable collapse of 28/7.
New Zealand running was sloppy, the shots unnecessary, and the minds frazzled in the heat. For their part, England did excellently to keep their heads when the pressure was in.
Even when they weren't looking like breaking the partnership they kept the run rate down, ensuring the required rate stayed above run a ball, and then when the breakthrough came, they pounced, earning the rewards for their pressure.