New Zealand 213 for 3 (Elliott 64*, Taylor 59*) beat Pakistan 210 (Afridi 67, Misbah 58, Elliott 3-26) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
New Zealand's persistence with the ball and excellence in the field took fine advantage of Pakistan's indiscipline with the bat, as the hosts first trussed up the opposition for 210, then sauntered to the total inside 40 overs with seven wickets in hand.
Although they were untested as a team in this match, the hosts' top order got valuable time in the middle - Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott collecting unbeaten fifties, after Martin Guptill struck 39. Pakistan had its star turns too, as Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi struck wildly incongruous fifties, and Mohammad Irfan caused grief with his bounce, but those performances went unsupported by others.
Kyle Mills snaffled 2 for 29 from his ten overs, sneaking an indipper through Mohammad Hafeez's defences and nailing Younis Khan as well, though he was largely bowling in the 125kph-range. His accuracy at the top of the innings also helped ensure Pakistan were muzzled at the outset. They scored eight runs for one wicket in the first six overs of the innings, and did not advance quickly even after that.
Trent Boult and Corey Anderson also took two scalps apiece, while Adam Milne took Afridi's wicket. The fielding, led by Guptill, who took three catches, ensured that even when the Pakistan batsmen found the middle of their bats, runs were still hard-earned.
The early losses set the stage for Misbah and Afridi's strange double act; the former responsible and grim in his 87-ball 58, the latter haphazard and brilliant in his 29-ball 67.
Misbah came in at 29 for 2, lost Younis soon after, and endeavoured to do nothing more ambitious than find sensible runs into the outfield. Only occasionally did he indulge in his leg-side wallop, which brought him two sixes and a four.
His team-mates continued to abandon sense at the other end. Umar Akmal walked down the track and allowed an innocuous Elliott yorker underneath his bat, before Sarfraz Ahmed slog-swept Anderson to deep square leg in the batting Powerplay. It was then that Afridi strode to the crease, at 127 for 6, and launched his startling onslaught.
Afridi hacked the seamers all around the ground, lifting Anderson over the covers first ball, before whacking Milne over mid-on next over. He was dropped on 14 by Brendon McCullum - New Zealand's only fielding indiscretion of the day - and punished the hosts by being brutal on anything short, particularly when the batting Powerplay was still in force. He sent Nathan McCullum into the stands in two successive deliveries to reach his fifty from 21 balls.
Misbah was dismissed in the 42nd over, attempting to launch Elliott into the deep-midwicket stand. He fell with the score on 198, and only 12 more runs would be mustered. Afridi continued to live dangerously, and was caught on the long-on boundary. Pakistan were all out in the 46th over.
McCullum succeeded in getting four boundaries away, but his 12-ball innings came to an end on 17 when he charged and top-edged Bilawal Bhatti. Irfan was slightly wayward to begin with, but eventually began to trouble both Guptill and Tom Latham, who were both relatively secure otherwise. The pair made 44 brisk runs together before Afridi extracted an edge from Latham in the 12th over.
Guptill was serene at times, driving effortlessly and pulling with confidence, but his search for a substantial score to match his flowing strokes was cut short in the 19th over. He attempted to pull Irfan along the ground, but underestimated the bounce and ended up sending a catch to deep square leg.
Taylor was outdone by Irfan's bounce several times too, but managed to survive, sometimes edging or mishitting into gaps. With New Zealand well ahead of the run-rate, however, Taylor could afford to take his time, particularly when Elliott arrived and began to score efficiently.
Elliott prospered on the leg side, as he struck four fours off short deliveries -sometimes without a great deal of control - but he was otherwise as secure as he had been during the other matches this summer. Taylor reached his fifty off 72 balls, and Elliott got to the milestone two overs later, off 55 deliveries. Their partnership was unbeaten on 112 when Elliott hit the winning runs through point.