Curtis Campher ensured Ireland gained respectability as he rescued his side after a horror start which saw them slump to 28 for 5.
The 21 year-old made his debut along with YMCA colleague Harry Tector in a signal of intent that Graham Ford and his selectors were ushering in a new era - the old warhorses of Boyd Rankin and William Porterfield replaced in the starting line-up.
The inclusion of Campher raised questions from some quarters but after arriving in just the 7th over he immediately looked assured, unfazed and technically sound.
David Willey had done the early damage, striking four crucial blows, including Paul Stirling from the fourth ball of the game.
Andy Balbirnie flashed at a wide one, and in the space of six balls, Harry Tector played on, Gareth Delany (22) was caught at point after a T20esque innings which contained five fours, and Lorcan Tucker was trapped lbw on review.
At that stage, the record books were being consulted about lowest totals and quickest matches.
However Campher and Kevin O'Brien rebuilt sharing a sixth wicket stand of 51, before the hero of Bangalore 2011 played a half-hit shot to long-off. Simi Singh then had a brain freeze as he pushed to short cover and took off, run out looking for a non-existent single.
Campher continued to be solidity personified, and he found a willing ally in Donemana all-rounder Andrew McBrine.
Although their running was at times a little frantic, they survived and shared a fine stand of 66, before McBrine got a little carried away having hit 10 off three balls from Tom Curran.
Still his innings of 40 contained the only six of the Irish innings, and showed glimpses of the batsman we all know he can be.
Campher remained unbeaten on 59 - the second highest score by an Ireland player on debut - bettered only by 99 from the opposing captain, Eoin Morgan at Ayr against Scotland back in 2006.
Willey had Craig Young caught at mid-off by a diving Jason Roy to give him a deserved five wicket haul, and a final total of 172 while modest, was more than the Irish could have hoped for after that nightmare first 30 minutes.
Ireland suffered a blow as Barry McCarthy suffered an injury in the first over as he pulled up abruptly, suggesting a hamstring or muscle tear.
That brought Andy McBrine on much sooner than expected, but he trapped Bairstow (2) lbw on review to give the Irish a much needed fillip.
England continued to play positively, but Craig Young (2-56) accounted for Jason Roy (24) and James Vince to keep the Irish in contention.
Indeed when Curtis Campher had Tom Banton caught behind with his fourth ball, England were wobbling ever so slightly at 78 for 4.
Unfortunately thereafter their nemesis entered and as he has done so many times before, Eoin Morgan settled his team and in conjunction with Sam Billings completely altered the complexion of the contest.
They did ride their luck at times, but found the boundary with regularity in their unbroken fifth wicket stand of 96 in 14 overs.
Billings hit 11 boundaries in his 54-ball 66, while Morgan (36*) finished proceedings with his second six as the win was achieved with 22.1 overs to spare.
It was a disappointed skipper Balbirnie who reflected afterwards that his batters "had failed to adapt to conditions."
He also revealed that it was "highly unlikely" that McCarthy would play any further part in the series.
Fortunately for Ireland there are no shortage of options in the seam bowling department at hand. Boyd Rankin and Josh Little are both in the squad, while reserves on site include Mark Adair, Tyrone Kane and Stuart Thompson.
The second match is on Saturday, also a day/night affair starting at 2pm at the Ageas Bowl.