New Zealand 148 for 7 (Guptill 45) beat Netherlands 132 (de Leede 66, Tickner 4-27, Sears 3-22) by 16 runs
Tickner then knocked over Netherlands’ top order, which included the ungainly dismissal of Max O’Dowd who was left flat in the crease after trying to scoop, as they slipped to 15 for 3 in the fourth over.
Sears then caused problems with his pace, finding the top of Teja Nidamanuru with keeper Dave Cleaver jumping to take another smart catch.
At 93 for 7 the game was just about done and it was too much for de Leede to overhaul despite his fine hand of 66 off 53 balls which ended in the final over to give Tickner his fourth.
New Zealand had not been able to stamp their authority with the bat with Finn Allen, despite one six, not getting going in the powerplay which saw them 33 for 2 after six overs.
They had only moved as far as 60 for 2 at the halfway mark and by the 15th over that had become an uncertain 95 for 5 with legspinner Shariz Ahmad removing Daryl Mitchell and Phillips – the latter to a sharp caught-and-bowled – while Martin Guptill had picked out deep square having anchored the innings.
The momentum changed in the 17th over when Neesham took Logan van Beek for 22 including two sixes although he fell to the last ball of the over. Ish Sodhi then helped take 20 from the 19th over included a brace of sixes for himself.
Between them Netherlands’ spinners took 4 for 80 from their 12 overs with Ahmad and Tim Pringle particularly impressive.
The second and final T20I takes place on Friday.