New Zealand set England a huge target in their crucial triangular series one-day international at the WACA ground in Perth on Tuesday, scoring 318 for seven after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Both Lou Vincent and Ross Taylor made half-centuries, while the in-form Jacob Oram again weighed in with some late innings fireworks as the Kiwis made the third highest one-day international score ever at Perth's WACA.
Only Australia's 343 for 5 and the Black Caps' 335-5 on Sunday eclipse it.
It was also New Zealand's highest-ever total against England.
If the Black Caps are able to successfully defend the total, they will have all but secured a berth in the tri-series finals against Australia.
Defeat for England would mean they would have to beat both Australia and the Kiwis in their last two games to reach the finals, an improbable prospect given their current dismal form.
It was another calamitous display from the embattled English with their series on the line.
They conceded a staggering 37 sundries, including 22 wides and three no-balls, which also gave the Black Caps plenty of extra deliveries to face.
Plunkett fielded horribly and went for 72 runs from his 10 overs, including three no-balls and five wides.
After Vincent made 76 and Taylor 71, Oram continued his incredible form since returning from a hamstring injury in making an unbeaten 54.
Oram faced just 33 balls, hitting three fours and four sixes to help his side make a later surge.
Dubbed a "poor man's Chris Cairns" in the Australian press, he took 35 runs from the 10 balls he faced in the 49th and 50th overs, taking his tally to 241 runs in three innings in the series.
The efforts of spinner Monty Panesar with the ball at least appeared to have given the English renewed hope, until Oram continued his purple patch.
Panesar was clearly the pick of the bowlers and helped the English rein in a flying start by the Kiwis.
His first spell cost just 15 runs from six overs as he beat the bat regularly, before finishing with 2-35 from his 10 overs.
He should also have had a third wicket.
Taylor should have been out stumped on 30, when wicketkeeper Paul Nixon produced one of his few moments of inspiration in his first international series.
Panesar beat Taylor, who lifted his back foot as Nixon whipped of the bails.