Opening batsman Martin Guptill smashed his 10th fifty in the game’s shortest format to power New Zealand to 180 for five against Pakistan in their World Twenty20 Super 10 stage match on Tuesday.
The right-hander hit 10 fours and three sixes in his 48-ball 80, sharing an opening stand of 62 with captain Kane Williamson after an unchanged New Zealand won the toss on a green-tinged surface at Mohali.
Guptill also combined with Corey Anderson (21) for a third-wicket stand of 52 that set the platform for Ross Taylor (36 not out) to finish with a flourish.
Mohammad Amir gave away 16 runs in the final over with Taylor hitting him for six and four to ensure that Pakistan would have to score over nine runs an over in their chase.
Mohammad Sami and captain Shahid Afridi picked up two wickets apiece for Pakistan, who made two changes to the team that lost to arch-rivals India on Saturday.
Mohammad Hafeez failed to recover from a knee injury while paceman Wahab Riaz was hit in the head by a ball during practice and were replaced by batsman Khalid Latif and spin-bowling all-rounder Imad Wasim.
A victory against Pakistan would cement New Zealand’s place in the last four after already defeating hosts India and trans-tasman rivals Australia in Group Two.