Moeen Ali took a decisive catch with nine overs remaining as England secured a rousing win over New Zealand on day five. Getty Images

England have won the first test against New Zealand by 124 runs following an exhilarating final day of action at Lord's.

With Alastair Cook, Ben Stokes and Joe Root all having contributed heavily to an impressive fight back on 24 May, all the talk at stumps revolved around the timing of the hosts' seemingly inevitable declaration as rumours swirled suggesting that Trevor Bayliss has replaced fellow Australian Jason Gillespie as the England and Wales Cricket Board's number one choice as replacement for former head coach Peter Moores.

That declaration simply never came, however, with Cook's sublime innings finally ended on 162 when a review judged that he had edged through to Tom Latham off Trent Boult.

Stuart Broad soon joined his captain back in the pavilion after falling victim to Boult and the 25-year-old then claimed his third and fourth wickets of a productive morning when he trapped Moeen Ali lbw before removing James Anderson's off-stump to leave England all out for 476.

Set a target of 345 for victory, the Black Caps got off to an awful start when Anderson coaxed an edge from Martin Guptil and the opener was taken by Gary Ballance at third slip.

Things went from bad to appalling for the tourists when Latham was given out lbw to Broad in the very next over before Ross Taylor befell the exact same fate to leave them reeling at 12-3.

Kane Williamson and BJ Watling survived until lunch, but the former, who made a wonderful 132 earlier in the match, was later gone for 27 when he fired a Ben Stokes inswinger straight to the grateful Joe Root at gully.

Fresh from recording the fastest ever test century at Lord's, Stokes made it two from two with the crucial wicket of Brendon McCullum when the visiting skipper failed to negotiate another terrific delivery that crashed onto the stumps via his elbow for a first-ball duck.

By now the atmosphere inside the famous old ground was simply rocking and England were left needing five wickets from the final session after tea to secure a morale-boosting win.

Following a brief lull in the evening, debutant Mark Wood made a decisive breakthrough when his ball to Watling was gloved through to Jos Buttler. Corey Anderson, who top-scored for his side with 67, was finally dislodged when caught plum lbw by Root.

Mark Craig was then bowled by the confident Stokes and Tim Southee could only return a Moeen Ali ball to sender to leave England requiring one more wicket to delight the passionate home crowd.

It came in typically dramatic fashion in the 68th over when Ali, sprinting out to third man, held a tremendous catch to dismiss Boult.

"It's been a great day. It's fitting that it went as long as it did. Full credit to both teams," caretaker coach Paul Farbrace said afterwards.

"I've tried not to do anything differently. The key was to make it as normal as possible for the players and they have responded to that. We encouraged the lads to play good cricket and have fun and that's what we have always tried to do. It's been a continuation of what has been going on. I got excited with a few wickets to go, but I could be forgiven for that.

"It's all very well about being a developing side but international sport is about the here and now and winning. There's a lot of good players on the fringes and the people who leave the ground today will be excited about the English cricket team."