AUCKLAND: Pakistan set New Zealand an imposing target of 202 in the second T20 in Auckland on Thursday as the tourists´ batsmen finally found form after a dismal run.
Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman jointly top-scored with 50 apiece as Pakistan made 201 for four after winning the toss and electing to bat at Eden Park.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed also contributed 41 and Ahmed Shehzad made 44 as Pakistan chase their first tour win over the Black Caps.
Openers Fakhar and Ahmed laid the platform with a partnership of 94.
Pakistan´s previous best opening partnership during the six limited-over matches played on tour so far was just 14.
The pair made the most of Eden Park´s short boundaries to comfortably dispatch anything short or wide for four.
They punished pacemen Ben Wheeler and Seth Rance, who both conceded 13 runs in an over, prompting New Zealand to introduce spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner.
Fakhar responded by belting three sixes off Santner´s first over, bringing up his maiden T20 half century soon after off 26 balls.
Rance finally broke through in the 9th over, deceiving Ahmed with a slower ball that carried straight to Colin de Grandhomme on the boundary.
De Grandhomme pressed home the advantage in the next over when he coaxed an edge to dismiss Fakhar and threaten to steal Pakistan´s momentum.
But Sarfraz and Babar kept the scoreboard ticking over, taking Pakistan to 137 for two with five overs remaining.
Sarfraz in particular displayed a confidence that had so far eluded him on tour and also had a dash of luck when Mitchell Santner dropped him on 35.
He proceeded to send a Wheeler delivery into the stands but was out on 41 trying for a repeat with the next ball.
Babar brought up his 50 and took the team past 200 with a four off the final ball of the innings.
Ben Wheeler was New Zealand´s best bowler with two for 36.