Wellington – Corey Anderson whacked a career-best 82 not out and followed up with two wickets as New Zealand demolished Pakistan by 95 runs in their deciding Twenty20 in Wellington on Friday.
New Zealand wrapped up the series 2-1 after being sent into bat and making an imposing 196 before rolling Pakistan for 101 in the 17th over.
The comprehensive victory marked the return of burly all-rounder Anderson to his best after he missed the first half of the New Zealand summer because of injury.
His man-of-the match 82 off 42 deliveries was backed by Grant Elliott taking three for seven, Adam Milne three for eight and his own two for 17 as Pakistan imploded.
Anderson’s lack of cricket was evident in a rocky start to his innings when he went to the crease with New Zealand at 62-2 after seven overs.
He had 15 off 10 at the end of the 11th over when New Zealand lost their two senior batsmen in quick succession with Kane Williamson out for 33 and Ross Taylor retired hurt for six.
By the end of the 15th over, when New Zealand were 129-3 Anderson decided he had played himself at 36 off 23 balls and lashed out.
In the last five overs he faced 19 deliveries and bludgeoned 46 runs with his innings including four sixes and six fours.
He then set about carving through the Pakistan top order capturing Ahmed Shehzad for eight and Shoaib Malik for 14 before leaving the field with cramp.
Sarfraz Ahmed (41) and Malik were the only Pakistan batsmen to reach double figures as Elliott and Milne proved too difficult to handle in the daunting run chase.
When Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi won the toss he opted to bowl first, quoting the history of Westpac Stadium where the six previous Twenty20 matches had all been won batting second and the highest score Twenty20 total at the ground was 163.
But statistics did not stop Martin Guptill and Williamson making another flying start putting on 57 in six overs.
When Afridi brought himself on he captured Guptill in his first over with the New Zealand opener having made 42 off 19 deliveries.
Colin Munro only faced three balls before he ran himself to bring Anderson to the crease and Pakistan’s hopes of salvaging the series disappeared.
Wahab Riaz was the most successful of the Pakistan bowlers with two for 43.
New Zealand and Pakistan play the first of three one-day internationals in Wellington on Monday.