Anderson 82* sets up punishing NZ win
New Zealand 196 for 5 (Anderson 82*, Guptill 42) beat Pakistan 101 (Sarfraz 41, Elliott 3-7, Milne 3-8) by 95 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Corey Anderson limped off the field with 15 overs of the third T20 still remaining, but by then he had done enough to tilt the match, and the series, decisively New Zealand's way. He had smashed an unbeaten 42-ball 82 to power New Zealand to a total of 196, and by the end of his second over, when he pulled up with cramps, had picked up two wickets to help reduce Pakistan to 36 for 4.
A good start is critical in a chase of such magnitude, and Pakistan did not make one. Failing to get on top of a short ball from Trent Boult, Mohammad Hafeez sliced a high catch into the point region. In the next over, Ahmed Shehzad picked out deep square leg while looking to pull Anderson, before Mohammad Rizwan ran himself out hurtling needlessly from his crease. Shoaib Malik struck three sweetly-timed fours off Boult, but the required rate brought out a miscued slog in the next over; Anderson had his second, and New Zealand were firmly on the road to victory.
In the end, Anderson was not required to come back onto the field as New Zealand wrapped up the match with close to four overs still remaining. Only two Pakistan batsmen reached double figures as they only just scraped past the 100 mark.
This was surely not the finish Pakistan had envisioned when Shahid Afridi chose to bowl after winning the toss. But the portents were clear right from the first ball of the match, which Martin Guptill flat-batted to the cover boundary. Carrying on from where he left off in Hamilton, Guptill tore into Anwar Ali, who replaced Umar Gul in Pakistan's seam attack, spanking him for another four and a six off the last two balls of the first over.
With Guptill in an equally punishing mood against Imad Wasim's hitherto unhittable left-arm spin, New Zealand reached the half-century mark as early as the start of the fifth over. They could have gotten there earlier, had more if not for Mohammad Amir's efforts to tie up Kane Williamson at the other end, bowling with pace and giving him no room.
Guptill was looking unstoppable until Afridi brought himself on and pulled things back with his skiddy topspinners from just back of a length. He forced Guptill to miscue a slog-sweep and hole out, and gave away only seven runs from his first two overs. In between, a brilliant piece of fielding from Rizwan at midwicket ran out Colin Munro at the non-striker's end.
Not long after, Williamson had holed out off Wahab Riaz, and Ross Taylor had retired hurt with a side strain. But New Zealand still had the momentum, with Anderson already underway with two fours and a six off his first twelve balls.
Anderson was not at his most fluent, but his method of clearing his front leg to make swinging room brought him rich dividends whenever anything was pitched in his hitting zone. All four of his sixes flew over the arc between deep midwicket and long-on, with those two fielders made to look like spectators.
With the leg-side boundary packed and a sweeper square on the off-side, third man was usually inside the circle. This gave Pakistan's seamers little margin for error when they tried to fire in the yorker, as Anderson made room, freed his arms, and carved the ball over or wide of that fielder for four of his six fours, with Wahab, who went for 43 in his four overs, receiving special attention for this form of punishment.
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo