Brendon McCullum upped the ante at Seddon Park to leave England requiring a record run chase to take a series-clinching 2-0 lead over New Zealand in the second Twenty20 international.
McCullum (74) reached 50 from 32 balls but then took even more severe toll of England in the final two overs of the innings as Stuart Broad conceded 22 in his and then Jade Dernbach 16 in the 20th.
England will therefore have to better their previous highest run chase - 181 against India in Mumbai less than two months ago - in pursuit of 192 for six for a second successive victory.
After openers Martin Guptill and Hamish Rutherford had given the hosts a handy platform with a stand of 75 in nine overs, it was McCullum who took over. The New Zealand captain began slowly but timed his acceleration expertly, finishing with five sixes and six fours by the time Dernbach (three for 38) had him caught on the cover boundary from the penultimate ball of the innings.
He completed the first half-century of this series with a six over square-leg off Broad, and duly added two more sixes in the next three balls to leave the England captain with figures of 4-0-53-0.
The Kiwi openers had 50 on the board when Guptill welcomed Dernbach to the match by thrashing the first ball of the sixth over for four past cover. England had sprung a minor surprise by opening the bowling with James Tredwell, after winning the toss.
But the ploy did not work especially well, Guptill striking the off-spinner for the first six of the match as 10 came off the over. Broad was unfortunate to have a six on his card too, in his first over, when Rutherford miscued an attempted hook which thudded into the sightscreen high over fine third-man.
Rutherford cleared the ropes twice more before falling 10 short of his 50, trying to manufacture runs into the off-side off Luke Wright only to edge behind as he gave himself room.
McCullum could manage only one run from the first seven balls he faced, but then hoisted the next from Samit Patel over long-on for six and greeted the return of Tredwell with another maximum - pulled over straight midwicket - to bring up the hundred in the 12th over. Tredwell stopped Guptill on 47, though, caught sweeping to deep backward-square.
Ross Taylor, in his second match back after his controversial and well-chronicled absence from New Zealand's tour of South Africa, once again could not get set and got right underneath a big hit to leg to become Wright's second victim. When Colin Munro was also caught in the deep off Dernbach, much appeared to depend on McCullum - and he did not disappoint the home crowd.