McCullum's hundred props NZ
Brendan McCullam (Gallo Images)
Abu Dhabi (AFP) - Opener Brendon McCullum returned to form with a brilliant hundred to guide New Zealand to an imposing 303-8 in the second day-night international against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi Stadium here on Friday.
The 27-year-old right-handed batsman scored 131 for his second one-day hundred and added 126 for the second wicket with Martin Guptill (62) after New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat in a must-win match.
New Zealand, who lost the first match by 138 runs to trail 1-0 in the three-match series, had McCullum to thank for repairing the innings after Aaron Redmond (six) fell in the sixth over, caught off paceman Mohammad Aamir.
Stripped of vice-captaincy to allow him to concentrate on batting form last month, McCullum steadied the innings, driving and cutting with authority during his 129-ball knock. He hit 14 boundaries and three sixes.
Guptill, declared New Zealand's best one-day player last month, also matched his partner shot for shot, hitting five boundaries and two sixes during his 70-ball knock before holing out to paceman Abdul Razzaq.
Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi, man-of-the-match in Pakistan's 138-run win in the first match, dismissed Ross Taylor without scoring before Scot Styris (nine) was run out as Pakistan hit back to reduce their rivals to 160-4.
McCullum and Daniel Vettori (30) added 44 for the fifth wicket before Razzaq returned for his second spell to have the New Zealand captain caught behind off a miscued hit.
McCullum, whose previous hundred (166) was made against Ireland at Aberdeen last year, reached his three-figure mark off 108 deliveries. He was finally dismissed in the 47th over, bowled off an inside edge by paceman Umar Gul.
He also added 56 for the seventh wicket with Oram who made 33 not out.
Pakistan brought back Shoaib Malik after resting him in the first match, while New Zealand included fit-again Kyle Mills and Neil Broom.