Skipper Michael Vaughan paid tribute to the record partnership shared by Kevin Pietersen and Geraint Jones after England's defeat of Zimbabwe in Harare.
England's 161-run victory was underpinned by the duo's sixth-wicket stand of 120 in 85 balls.
"They key was the partnership between Pietersen and Jones, who I thought played gems of innings," Vaughan said.
"We were around 120-5 and looking at a 200 target, but that partnership took the game away from them."
England finally posted 263-6 before bowling Zimbabwe out for 102 in the 36th over.
Pietersen (77 not out off 76 balls) and Jones (66 off 46) came together with England in some trouble on 121-5 after the visitors had won the toss and batted first.
Their partnership topped England's previous sixth-wicket record, 112 between Neil Fairbrother and Adam Hollioake in 1998.
"Full credit to the Zimbabweans. They put us under a tremendous amount of pressure," Vaughan added.
"They started well [with the bat] and got to 40-0, but once we got one wicket the others kept on tumbling.
Jones played a fine innings to register his first one-dfay fifty
"It was one of those things, but we we're happy with the performance, happy with the win and happy to be 2-0 up."
Vaughan said he was pleased with the progress of his younger players.
"We are trying to develop a squad of players that is competitive at international level, and we believe we are doing that.
"Kevin Pietersen was outstanding today, and Ian Bell was on Sunday."
Zimbabwe skipper Tatenda Taibu lamented his side's inability to keep the pressure on after a good start to the match.
"We started off well, but it all went wrong at the death," Taibu said.
"We are putting 100% in, but we could have done better and our batting was nothing to write home about."
The third and fourth matches of the reduced four-game series take place in Bulawayo this weekend.