The BLACKCAPS put in a strong all round display to beat Pakistan by 39 runs in Hamilton tonight and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match National Bank Twenty20 cricket series.
After beating Pakistan by five wickets in the opening match at Auckland on Sunday on the strength of outstanding performances by opening bat Martin Guptill and bowler Tim Southee, the Black Caps were a tight unit as they scored 185 runs for the loss of seven wickets after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat.
Pakistan made one change, bringing in Asad Shafiq for Fawad Alam.
New Zealand, rotating their players, fielded Ian Butler and gave Wellington's Luke Woodcock his first international cap in place of Adam Milne and Dean Brownlie who debuted in Auckland.
The match got off to a comical start when the ball slipped out of Pakistan opening bowler Abdul Razzaq's hand and dropped a few metres up the pitch before it was called a dead ball.
But Razzaq had the last laugh. His first official delivery enticed Jesse Ryder into a swipe only to have the leg-side ball tip off his glove into wicketkeeper Umar Akmal's hands, the opener departing without troubling the scorers.
But Guptill, 44 and James Franklin, 40, put on 90 runs for the second wicket by the 12th over before Guptill departed to establish a solid base for the New Zealand innings.
Ross Taylor, not out 30 from 21 balls was the anchor of the innings around which Scott Styris, 34 off 14 balls and Peter McGlashan, 26 off 10 balls, provided the fireworks at the end of the innings.
McGlashan, using some unorthodox strokes blasted 24 runs of one Umar Gul over, striking three fours and collecting two sixes with reverse sweeps.
Saeed Ajmal was the best of the Pakistan bowlers taking three for 35 off four overs with strike bowlers Shoaib Akhtar, one for 42 and Gul, none for 47 feeling the heat from the New Zealand batsman.
Pakistan got off to a promising start with opener Mohammad Hafeez hitting 46 from 30 balls.
But he was run out by Akmal who called for a suicidal second run and from three for 69, Pakistan were unable to build partnerships in the face of accurate bowling and tight fielding by New Zealand.
Chief destroyer was spinner Nathan McCullum who took four wickets for 16 runs. He also took two catches in the deep off consecutive balls from Southee.
Kyle Mills and Butler got a wicket each while left arm orthodox spinner Woodcock showed little jitters on debut to record an economical none for 20 off his four overs.
The third and final match is at Christchurch on Thursday.