SHARJAH: Kane Williamson played a captain's knock while young pace-man Matt Henry took 4-45 as New Zealand beat Pakistan by four wickets in the second one-day in Sharjah on Friday, to level the five-match series at 1-1.
After leveling the Test and Twenty20 series, New Zealand once again showed signs of their ability to fight back, as they chased down a 253-run target in 46 over's thanks to Williamson's 91-ball 70 not out and Anton Devcich's 58 at the top of the order.
Williamson hit seven boundaries in his 12th fifty - his sixth in last seven matches this year - and added an invaluable 58 for the sixth wicket with Luke Ronchi after New Zealand had lost way at 5-167.
But part-time spinner Haris Sohail, who had no wicket in his previous five matches, turned the game on its head by dismissing Ross Taylor (two), Tom Latham (three) and Corey Anderson (10) to finish with 3-48.
Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi (2-47) had given Pakistan the breakthrough with Brownlie's wicket before New Zealand lost five wickets in the space of just 64 runs.
With 86 needed off 17.3 over's, Williamson added an invaluable 58 runs for the sixth wicket with Luke Ronchi (36).
Even when Afridi dismissed Ronchi, who hit six boundaries in his rapid 32-ball knock, Williamson and Daniel Vettori (13 not out) stayed on course.
Williamson hit seven boundaries.
Afridi, who led the team after Misbah injured his hamstring, blamed poor bowling and batting.
"We missed a good chance of posting a big total, we could have scored 280 and then did not bowl well," said Afridi. "It's even now and we have to come back in the third match."
A packed 16,000 holiday crowd at Sharjah stadium enjoyed a game in which both teams had their moments.
Pakistan had won the first match by three wickets in Dubai.
The remaining matches will be played in Sharjah (Sunday) and Abu Dhabi (Wednesday and Friday).
But Williamson ensured the winning target was achieved even after Ronchi was dismissed.
Pakistan were lifted by Mohammad Hafeez who hit a solid 76.
Hafeez's 92-ball 76 with nine boundaries and a six and skipper Misbah-ul Haq's 65-ball 47 rescued Pakistan from a shaky 20-3 before Pakistan, who won the toss, before they were bowled out for 252 in 48.3 over’s.
With his position under threat after his suspension over his illegal bowling action, Hafeez struck form in the nick of time as he added 77 for the fourth wicket with Haris Sohail (33) and another 66 for the fifth with Misbah.
Pace-man Matt Henry (4-45) had jolted Pakistan by dismissing opener Ahmed Shehzad, caught behind in the first over for a duck and then bowled Asad Shafiq (one) in his third.
In between seam bowler Mitchell McClenaghan, who took 3-56, had Younis Khan for six. Younis failed to capitalise on a no-ball leg-before by the same bowler on nought.
When it looked as if Pakistan would post a 300-plus total Henry took Hafeez and Misbah, caught behind in the space of nine runs.
Misbah, who hit two fours and two sixes, wasn't happy with English umpire Richard Illingworth's decision and reviewed the decision, but it was to no avail.
His dismissal at 172 seemed to have derailed Pakistan's innings but Shahid Afridi hit three sixes and a boundary in his 14-ball 27 while Sarfraz Ahmed made 23.
Afridi hit two sixes off Adam Milne which sent the capacity crowd, to their feet.
Pakistan brought in Tanvir for Umar Gul, who was struggling for fitness while New Zealand were forced to make three changes.
Pace-man Kyle Mills, all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and spinner Nathan McCullum made way for McClenaghan, Corey Anderson and Henry.