England 241 (Knight 89, Beaumont 44, Brunt 43, Kerr 3-42) beat New Zealand 211 (Satterthwaite 79*, Sciver 2-10) by 30 runs
After the home side were bowled out for 241 with three balls left, the two England spearheads turned the plot on its head during a devastating spell at the start of New Zealand's run-chase in which Brunt bowled four maidens on the trot and Sciver took 2 for 10 from five overs.
Sophie Ecclestone added her own chapter by claiming two wickets in two balls, while Kate Cross also claimed two as Amy Satterthwaite offered valiant resistance with an unbeaten 79 that included a 78-run stand with Sophie Devine and took the match far deeper than England would have wanted.
England's innings had been built on an excellent 89 from captain Heather Knight, who was well supported by Tammy Beaumont's 44 and Brunt's 43. But with Lauren Winfield-Hill the only other England batter to reach double figures, the hosts would be left to wonder if they'd done enough. Their bowlers saw to it that they had.
Brunt's tight lines gave nothing to New Zealand's openers, Suzie Bates and Lauren Down. After three overs, the tourists had managed just one run, a hurried single that would have resulted in a run out, had Beaumont's diving throw from backward point not been a fraction wide.
They'd only added one more when Sciver had Bates comfortably caught by Knight at first slip and, after five overs, New Zealand were 2 for 1, compared to England's 30 for 1.
Sciver struck again on the last ball of the Powerplay, luring an edge from Down which was taken by Amy Jones behind the stumps and New Zealand were 17 for 2 after 10 overs.
Cross had Maddy Green caught at slip by Knight to make it 31 for 3 in the 13th over. But then Devine and Satterthwaite steadied the innings with a calm that seemed to mimic the twin hot-air balloons floating in the distance. They were by no means scoring freely, rather holding things together after a turbulent launch, however, and as those vessels drifted beyond the suburban skyline, so too did the victory target disappear out of sight - or so it seemed.
Needing to score at a run a ball for the last half of the innings, Satterthwaite twice took a chance on the field with skyward shots that landed safely. She got one away nicely off Cross, back over the bowler's head, but when Cross's ever-reliable line and length was rewarded again with the wicket of Devine, caught at mid-on by Winfield-Hill for 34 three balls later, the tourists needed to rebuild again with the required rate creeping steadily higher.
Ecclestone removed Katey Martin and Brooke Halliday with consecutive balls and it appeared just a matter of time for England to seal the win. Worryingly for England, it took time, especially given Knight's edict before the match for her side to be more ruthless.
Brunt's return to action was delayed by a spell off the field to treat some tightness in her back but when she re-entered the the attack - with figures of 4-4-0-0 - New Zealand were six wickets down and still 118 runs adrift of their target.
Brunt struck with the last ball of her second over back, trapping Hannah Rowe lbw to end with 1 for 22 from eight overs. Debutant Charlie Dean even chimed in with the wicket of Jess Kerr, bowled by a pearl of a delivery which took the top of off stump.
Lea Tahuhu made a spirited 25 off just 14 in a late 34-run stand with Satterthwaite but was bowled by Freya Davies, and then Leigh Kasperek and Satterthwaite put on another 34 for the final wicket before Kasperek was brilliantly run out by Winfield-Hill in the middle of the 47th over.
Kerr claimed three wickets for the White Ferns, while Tahuhu made an excellent return from foot surgery with two wickets and Devine also chimed in with two.
The hosts plumped for Winfield-Hill despite adding Danni Wyatt - who had opened alongside Beaumont throughout the T20 series, which England won 2-1 - to the ODI squad.
Winfield-Hill remains in search of the form that would see her cement a spot ahead of next year's World Cup after she was strangled down the leg side by Rowe for 21 off 24 balls, ending a solid opening stand of 41.
Beaumont was particularly strong on the drive, which delivered five of her six boundaries. There was little urgency to her innings but she looked solid after being dropped on 5 at the end of the third over when she sent a Devine delivery low to Green, who couldn't hold on at first slip.
Devine made the breakthrough, almost as an afterthought when she rapped Beaumont on the knee roll apparently in line but drew only a lone shout for lbw from the field. Devine made a last-second call for the DRS, which showed the ball striking the pad before the bat and going on to hit the top of leg stump.
Tahuhu was instrumental in the England wobble which followed, bowling Sciver and Jones, and when Kerr had Sophia Dunkley caught cheaply down the leg side, England had gone from 109 for 1 to 140 for 5 and it fell to Knight and Brunt to drive the recovery.
They did so with an 88-run stand which ended when Knight fell tamely on the penultimate ball of the 47th to a simple return catch for Kasperek.