HAMILTON: New Zealand’s opening batsmen decimated the Pakistan bowling attack on Sunday with a 171-run partnership — the highest for any wicket in T20s — winning the second T20 at Hamilton by 10 wickets and leveling the three-match series 1-1.
Martin Guptill scored an unbeaten 87 runs in 58 balls, while captain Kane Williamson put up a 48-ball 72 runs on the board, taking the home side to victory in just 17.4 overs.
The 171-run stand between the pair bettered the previous record of 170 between South African openers Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman against England in a 2009 match at Centurion.
The Pakistani batting side had given the home side a target of 169 runs, after captain Shahid Afridi won the toss and opted to bat, saying he expected the surface to be good for batting.
But the batting side faltered again, with Pakistan looking at a disappointing target when the fifth wicket of the captain fell in the 18th over with just 137 runs on the board. However, Umar Akmal blasted a couple of sixes and fours in the final overs to take the side to 168 at the end of the 20th over.
Akmal scored 56 runs not out off 27 balls. Shoaib Malik added 39 runs off 30 balls to a 63-run partnership with Akmal before being bowled out by MJ McClenaghan.
Pakistan played the same side that won them the first match, while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson rested two of his fastbowlers who played in Auckland, giving Trent Boult and Matt Henry the game off.
Pakistan won the first match of the three-game series in Auckland by 16 runs.
The third and final game of the T20 series will be played at the Westpac Trust Stadium in Wellington on Friday, January 22.
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