England skipper Paul Collingwood said his team's 32-run win over New Zealand in the first of two Twenty20 matches had been "massively important".
"We didn't perform too well in the ICC World Twenty20," he said after a result which improved England's record to four wins and eight losses in the format.
"We could have got a few more runs but did a lot of good things and the bowlers were fantastic," he said.
"It's a really good, positive start to the tour but we have to keep that up."
England comfortably defended a total of 184-8 on a good batting wicket, with the Black Caps losing their final wicket in the last over.
Dimitri Mascarenhas was man of the match after smashing four sixes on the trot off Jeetan Patel's off-breaks, and then sending down four accurate overs in which he took 2-19.
"It was good to get a few runs," said the Hampshire all-rounder, somewhat downplaying his achievements with the bat.
"We needed a few at the end but to get a couple of wickets was really good.
"I just tried to put the ball in the right area and a few things went my way."
Kevin Pietersen, who hammered 43 off 23 balls, added: "The guys are up for it. We've trained as hard as England ever have. We just want to get better as a team and as individuals.
"As long as we keep performing as we have done and keep getting better then the sky's the limit for this young side."