Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum glossed over his own contribution in Tuesday's 55-run Twenty20 win over England, preferring instead to concentrate on the efforts of rookies Mitchell McClenaghan and Hamish Rutherford.
New Zealand set a challenging target of 6-192 after losing the toss in Hamilton, backing that up with a fired-up bowling performance and sharp work in the field to remove England for 137, three balls short of 20 overs.
After England's 40-run win in the first T20 on Sunday, the Black Caps needed a vastly improved batting performance, and Rutherford played a key role in delivering one.
He combined with Martin Guptill in a 75-run partnership for the opening wicket, making a controlled 40 off 27 balls which included three sixes.
McClenaghan provided similar impetus with the ball, removing Alex Hales and Luke Wright with consecutive balls in his first over.
Jonny Bairstow survived the hat-trick ball but England looked shell-shocked at 9-2 after the second over and never really recovered, only Jos Buttler (54) emerging with any distinction.
McCullum, who contributed an outstanding captain's knock with 74 from 38 balls including six fours and five sixes, says the performances of Rutherford and McClenaghan were particularly satisfying.
"It was great to see those guys come in and play the roles they were picked to play, and that's a real testament to their character and their desire as well," he told SkyTV afterwards.
"They came in and played that free spirit kind of cricket. Both Hamish and Mitchell are aggressive, and they've proved excellent for us."
McClengahan finished with figures of 2-24 from his four overs, Ian Butler also bowling with pace and aggression in picking up 2-29 while James Franklin wrapped up the tail in collecting 4-15.
England captain Stuart Broad admitted his team's effort was disappointing.
"We didn't play well - all credit to New Zealand, they did fantastically well," he said afterwards.
"McCullum took the game away from us with the bat, and we didn't execute our skills 100 per cent.
"At the halfway point, we were still in with a chance in a small ground like that but obviously losing early wickets like we did, we were always chasing the game from there."
The third and deciding Twenty20 is in Wellington on Friday.