Guptill and Williamson level series with record-breaking partnership


Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson produced a record-breaking 171-run stand to earn New Zealand an astounding 10-wicket victory over Pakistan and level the Twenty20 International series at 1-1.

The Black Caps' opening pair made light work of chasing down the 169 posted by Pakistan with a phenomenal showing, putting the disappointment of falling 17 runs short in the first match of the three-game series in Auckland on Friday behind them.

Guptill lead the charge with a powerful showing that included 13 boundaries - four of which were maximums - as he reached 87 off 58 balls, while Williamson improved upon his 70 in the opening match by two runs with a great display of accuracy.

Umar Akmal's unbeaten 56 off just 27 balls had helped Pakistan overcome a sluggish start, but five of their batsmen failed to reach double figures as they made 168-7.

The Black Caps' response was emphatic, with Guptill and Williamson offering the Pakistan bowlers no chance as they bettered Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman's 170-run partnership set in South Africa's T20I win over England in November 2009 to claim the victory.

Williamson's match started impressively in the field, catching Ahmed Shehzad (9) and Shahid Afridi (7) off Corey Anderson (1-26) and Adam Milne (1-37) respectively.

Mitchell McClenaghan (2-23) claimed the important scalp of Shoaib Malik (39) after he and Umar had put together a fourth-wicket partnership of 63 from just under six overs to propel Pakistan forward, and run-outs for Sarfraz Ahmed (1) saw them stumble to the end of their innings.

There was no such trouble for New Zealand as they mounted an unerring response in chase of an attainable target.

Williamson set the tone with consecutive fours off Imad Wasim (0-32), the Black Caps taking 31 runs off the opening 18 balls.

New Zealand's relentless pace continued with Guptill adding the perfect complement to his partner's reliability by providing sensational, powerful batting, evidenced by sixes off successive balls from Afridi (0-38) in the 15th over.

There was a scare for Williamson when Shoaib (0-13) dropped him off his own delivery, but he quickly recovered his composure to hit a four off the next delivery.

Guptill struck a six as New Zealand notched 17 runs in the 17th over, and, after two singles,  he completed the emphatic victory with a bottom edge to the fine leg boundary.

After seeing their bowling attack decimated by the Black Caps pair, Pakistan will have to pick themselves up from only a second ever 10-wicket loss in T20Is in the decider in Wellington on Friday.