The former Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori's made his national return against Scotland, in a thrilling one day match at Lincoln.
In his first outing for his country in more than a year, Vettori claimed no wickets for 43 runs off his 10 overs.
The New Zealand XI were bowled out on the final ball for 263, then the Scots, needing two runs to win, were bowled out for 262 on their final ball - losing by one run.
Earlier, quickfire half centuries from Brendon McCullum and Corey Anderson along with useful contributions from the lower order saved the New Zealanders a few blushes.
After being 102 for two in the 23rd over, the Black Caps slumped to 132 for six in the 30th.
McCullum made 52 off 42 balls, while Corey Anderson scored 53 off 47.
Tom Latham was next highest scorer with 39 while veteran Kyle Mills made 33 and Matt Henry was 21 not out.
Meanwhile the South African cricketers arrived in Auckland on Wednesday, and captain AB de Villiers was happy to talk up the Black Caps' chances at next year's World Cup.
De Villiers says he wouldn't call New Zealand dark horses, rather they're one of the favourites - especially in their home conditions - and because they haven't won a big tournament or series for a while, the Black Caps will be very motivated to do well.
And de Villiers is expecting a very competitive series. The one day series begins on Tuesday in Tauranga.