Mohali - Opener Martin Guptill smacked a quickfire 80 off 48 balls as New Zealand posted 180 for five against Pakistan in a World Twenty20 group match in Mohali on Tuesday.
Guptill, 29, hit three sixes and 10 fours in his entertaining knock after skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a sporting wicket at the Punjab Cricket Association ground.
Ross Taylor chipped in with an unbeaten 23-ball 36 to help his side put up a strong total to defend.
After a tentative start, Guptill smacked a huge six and a boundary off left-arm paceman Mohammad Irfan in the second over to set the pace for his innings.
Irfan's new ball partner Mohammad Amir was not spared either, whacked for three fours by Guptill, the last two off consecutive balls.
The Kiwis raced to 62-0 off eight overs before Williamson was caught off Irfan for 17.
Pakistan struck again soon with captain Shahid Afridi (2-40) sending back new batsman Colin Munro (7) in the first over that he bowled.
Guptill appeared unruffled as he raced to his 10th half-century in T20 internationals with a couple off Afridi, prompting a standing ovation from his teammates in the dressing room.
But just as Guptill looked set for a bigger score, he chopped on to his stumps off Mohammad Sami, who was most impressive among the bowlers with figures of 2-23.
Earlier, the Kiwis retained the same side that won the previous match against Australia while Pakistan brought in Imad Wasim and Khalid Latif in place of injured duo Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz.
New Zealand, unbeaten in the tournament so far, will storm in to the semi-finals from Group B if they win Tuesday's match.
A defeat for Pakistan, which has won and lost a game each, would severely dent their chances of making it to the semis.