Man of the match Moeen Ali scored his first World Cup hundred for England – and his highest ODI score – in the 119 run win over Scotland in a Pool A clash in Christchurch.
The Worcestershire all-rounder went to three figures off just 91 balls as England, who were put into bat in overcast conditions, scored 303-8 in their 50 overs.
His ton contained four sixes and nine fours and he was the dominant figure in an opening stand with Ian Bell.
Moeen eventually fell for 128 from 107 balls as he surpassed his previous best ODI score of 119 against Sri Lanka in Colombo in November.
Then he picked up two wickets including opener Kyle Coetzer for a top score of 71 as Scotland were dismissed for 184 in 42.2 overs.
The efforts of 27-year-old Moeen were just what England required after their maulings against Australia and New Zealand in the opening two Pool matches.
Moeen played in typically aggressive fashion and set the tone with two fours and a six over long off in the fourth over of the innings from Josh Davey.
He had a couple of slices of good fortune, edging Alasdair Evans for four and bottom edging the first delivery from spinner Majid Haq for two.
But in general Moeen was in full control and brought up his half century off 39 deliveries out of 79 in the 13th over.
He hit Haq for his second six over long on and then desposited Richard Berrington over the long off boundary.
England reached the half-way mark on 144-0 with Moeen having scored 92 of them.
Moeen brought up his hundred with his fourth six over the mid wicket boundary off Haq out of 163-0 in the 29th over.
The stand was finally broken at 172 in the 31st over with the dismissal of Bell for 54 off 85 balls.
It was England's highest ever opening stand in World Cup cricket, beating the 158 by Dennis Amiss and Barry Wood against East Africa at Edgbaston in 1975.
A boundary off Berrington took Moeen past his previous highest ODI score in Colombo as the 200 came up in the 34th over.
He was finally dismissed on the long on boundary off Haq with England 201-2 in the 35th over and then 46 from skipper Eoin Morgan helped them pass 300.
Moeen finished with figures of 2-47 from 10 overs and struck twice in successive overs.
Coetzer, having hit 11 fours in his 71 off 84 balls, top edged a catch to Chris Woakes at long on and then Berrington (8) fell to a sharp catch by Morgan at mid wicket.