ABU DHABI: Skipper Kane Williamson hit a century to help steer New Zealand to 299-5 in the fourth day-night international against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old right-hander scored 123 off 105 balls while opener Martin Guptill made 58 after New Zealand won the toss and batted on a conducive batting strip at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Williamson added 44 for the second wicket with Guptill and another 63 for the third with Ross Taylor, who made 26 to raise hopes of a series-leveling win.
Pakistan lead the five-match series 2-1 after winning the first and third games.
Williamson, who scored an unbeaten 70 in New Zealand’s four-wicket win in the second match in Sharjah, pulled paceman Mohammad Irfan to deep square-leg for his ninth boundary to complete the three-figure mark off just 92 balls.
He was finally bowled by Irfan off the last delivery of the innings, hitting 12 boundaries and adding another 72 for the fifth wicket with Tom Latham (14 not out).
Williamson’s hundred was built on a fine start to the innings.
Guptill and Dean Brownlie had given a solid 81-run start before leg-spinner Shahid Afridi provided his team the breakthrough in the 17th over.
Guptill hit seven boundaries in his 78-ball knock before he was caught behind off paceman Sohail Tanvir.
Corey Anderson, meanwhile, made 23.
Pakistan went ahead with the match despite calls to postpone it after a terrorist attack in Peshawar on Tuesday which left 148 people killed, 132 of them school students.
Both teams observed a two-minute silence and wore black armbands to mourn the tragedy.
Pakistan brought in Anwar Ali and Nasir Jamshed for Wahab Riaz and Asad Shafiq from the line-up of the third match.
New Zealand made three changes, leaving out James Neesham, Nathan McCullum and Anton Devcich for Daniel Vettori, Brownlie and Adam Milne.