New Zealand levelled the 3-match T20I series 1-1 after winning the second match by 10 wickets at Hamilton.
After winning the toss, Pakistan decided to bat first in this match with 1-0 leading in the series. Pakistan team remained unchanged from the last T20I while New Zealand made two changes from the last T20I match. Ross Taylor and Mitchell McClenaghan replaced Matt Henry and Trent Boult in the New Zealand XI.
In this match, Pakistan batting never looked dangerous against the New Zealand’s control bowling. By taking regular wickets, New Zealand kept the visitors under control in this match. An important middle order contributions from Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal helped Pakistan to put 168/7 on the board in 20 overs. Malik scored 39 runs on 30 balls while Akmal made unbeaten 56 runs off just 27 balls.
McClenaghan claimed two wickets and finished as the best bowler in the innings ending with figures of 4-0-23-2.
In reply, New Zealand’s two openers Martin Guptill and skipper Kane Williamson smashed all the Pakistani bowlers. Pakistan bowlers failed to take a wicket in this innings while no bowlers looked even close to threatening against the two openers. Guptill remained unbeaten on 87 runs off 58 balls with 9-fours and 4-sixes while Williamson remained not out at 72 runs off 48 balls with 11-fours. New Zealand reached the target at 17.4 balls without losing any wicket.
Guptill and Williamson broke the record of the highest run partnership for all wickets in the T20I international cricket. The previous best partnership was also for the first wicket of 170 runs between South African opening batsmen Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman against England at Centurion in 2009.
Guptill and Williamson both were selected man of the match for their extraordinary performances. The third and last T20I of the series will be held on 22nd January at Wellington, which will be the decider of the series.