McCullum grateful for 'a bit of luck'


Brendon McCullum felt a combination of an impressive batting display and some good fortune ensured New Zealand claimed a one-day international series victory over Pakistan.

The Black Caps sealed a 2-0 win with a three-wicket victory at Eden Park on Sunday after being set a revised target of 263 in a rain-affected contest.

Babar Azam (83) and Mohammad Hafeez (76) starred with the bat as the tourists posted 290 all out after Azhar Ali won the toss and elected to bat.

Martin Guptill (82) and the prolific Kane Williamson (84) put on 159 for the second wicket in New Zealand's reply after captain McCullum was out for a golden duck on his return from injury.

Pakistan were bemused when Corey Anderson appeared to edge Rahat Ali behind in the 38th, but Billy Bowden did not raise his finger and the all-rounder hit the next two deliveries for six before going on to make 35 from 29 balls as New Zealand got home with two deliveries to spare.

Black Caps skipper McCullum praised the contributions made by opener Guptill and number three Williamson, but knows there could have been a different outcome.

He said: "It was a really good game, we were under pressure when we had the ball in hand, Pakistan looked set for 340-350.

"I thought the way we closed off our bowling certainly helped our batting. It was another wonderful stand from Kane and Gup and then it came down to a couple of important moments, we had a bit of luck at the end. But 290 is still a lot of runs and you have to bat well to chase down.

"The rain probably helped us at the end, when it shortens the game it favours the batting team."