Cricket: Devon Conway leads way with century as Blackcaps level ODI series with Pakistan

The Blackcaps have levelled their ODI series with Pakistan after a Devon Conway century laid the foundation for an emphatic victory.

Just days after their disappointing six-wicket defeat in the first game at Karachi, New Zealand responded with a 79-run win with Conway leading the charge.

The Blackcaps made just one change to their XI from Monday, with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi replacing fast bowler Henry Shipley, which proved a masterstroke on a slow pitch.

Blackcaps celebrate the wicket of Babar Azam.
Blackcaps celebrate the wicket of Babar Azam. Photo credit: Getty Images

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Conway and Kane Williamson quickly got into their work and threatened to score over 300, following the early dismal of Finn Allen.

The opener fell in the first over of New Zealand's innings for just one run, but that would only bring the veteran Williamson to the crease.

Together they put on a 181-run partnership off just 175 balls and looked set to help the Blackcaps post a mammoth target for Pakistan to chase.

But shortly after bringing up his second ODI ton, Conway could only add one more run before he was bowled by Naseem Shah, which set off a chain of dismissals.

Middle-order batters Daryl Mitchell (5) and Tom Latham (2) departed soon after, before the key wicket of Williamson (85) fell with Mohammed Nawaz breaching his defence.

Wickets continued to tumble with Glenn Phillips (3) and Michael Bracewell (8) offering little resistance, before Mitch Santner's knock of 37 helped NZ to be all out for 261.

Pakistan's chase got off to a rocky start, losing both openers in the first two overs of their innings.

Blackcaps captain Tim Southee had Fakhar Zaman (0) caught behind in the second over before Lockie Ferguson grabbed the scalp of Imam-ul-Haq in the very next.

But much like NZ, Pakistan found resolve in the form of their No.3 veteran batter, with Babar Azam overcoming the slow pitch and reaching a half-century.

He found good support in the form of wicket-keeper Mohammed Rizan (28), but his dismissal kicked off a series of wickets of batters getting themselves in before succumbing to spin.

Haris Sohail (10) was trapped LBW by Glenn Phillips before the latter also grabbed the key wicket of Agha Salman (25) with a runout.

Bracewell bowled Nawaz for just three runs before Southee had Usama Mir (12) caught behind and Williamson and Santner combined to runout Mohammad Wasim (10).

But the key wicket belonged to new man Sodhi, who beat Azam's bat before Latham did the rest behind the wicket to have him stumped for a valiant 79 runs.

Sodhi sealed the victory for the Blackcaps with the final wicket of Haris Rauf for a duck, and force a series decider.

Santner was pleased with how the Blackcaps spin-bowlers adapted to the tough conditions.

"With the ball, we were a lot tighter," he said post-match. "Our lines and lengths were good. It definitely spun more. 

"Nawaz bowled exceptionally well. We were reasonably happy with the score. We needed wickets early, and we were able to break the partnership between Rizwan and Babar, which we couldn't do last game."

Blackcaps 261 (Conway 101, Williamson 85, Santner 37; Nawaz 4/38, Shah 3/58)
Pakistan 182 (Azam 79, Rizwan 28, Salman 25; Southee 2/33, Sodhi 2/38)