BLACKCAPS batsman Brendon McCullum blasted 131 off 129 to set up victory and level the series against Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
Winning the toss and batting first the BLACKCAPS piled on 303 but the innings wasn’t without it’s hiccups as a mini collapse at the half-way point threatened to railroad the early progress.
McCullum who played with great maturity was able to adjust to the situation, rebuild when wickets fell and then impose himself again during the powerplay overs to underpin the formidable total.
The wicketkeeper batsman lashed 14 fours and three sixes on the way to his second One-Day International century.
Martin Guptill provided excellent support early for McCullum as they shared a 126 run partnership for the second wicket. He went on to reach 62 before holing out to deep cover.
Ross Taylor (0) and Scott Styris (9) didn’t stick around with dependable captain Daniel Vettori steadying the innings with 30 and Jacob Oram making 33 not out at the end.
The wickets were shared with Umar Gul, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi taking two apiece.
Pakistan made a solid start in reply putting on 77 for the first wicket before Vettori broke the partnership, trapping Khalid Latif for 45.
The BLACKCAPS then dominated the middle overs with Vettori and Kyle Mills drying up the runs and building pressure on Pakistan.
The next wicket came from a stunning catch by Taylor. Younis Khan (19) chipped a Styris delivery to the leg side with Taylor leaping to his right, securing a one handed screamer.
Two balls later Styris and Taylor combined again to dismiss the dangerous Shahid Alfridi for duck. Styris had his third when Kamran Akmal hit a simple catch straight to short cover to have Pakistan reeling at 133 for four.
Their problems were compounded when Salman Butt was run out by some sharp fielding by Guptill for 59.
Vettori picked up the wicket of Mohammad Yousuf in his final over to cap an excellent night with the ball, finishing with figures of 37 for two.
The run-rate was too much for the lower order as Mills dismissed Shoaib Malik (26) and Umar Gul (4), reducing Pakistan to 209 for eight.
Abdul Razzaq threw the bat before being caught at long off for 35 to give Tim Southee his first wicket before Bond took the final wicket of Mohammad Aamer (12) to have them all out for 239 and record the 64 run win.
It was a complete performance from the BLACKCAPS who were superior with the bat, ball and in the field and they will take a lot of confidence into their next match.
The third and deciding ODI is on Monday 9th November, 3:00pm (local time), 00:00 +1d (NZ time) also at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.