Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Sharjah: Stand-in captain Shahid Afridi's brilliant all-round performance carried Pakistan to an emphatic 147-run victory over New Zealand in the third one-day international on Sunday for a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Afridi hit a rampant 55 off 26 balls after Ahmed Shehzad smashed 113 off 120 as Pakistan raised its third highest ever limited-overs total of 364-7.
Afridi perfectly filled in the captain's role after regular skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was ruled out of the remainder of the series due to a hamstring injury he sustained during the second ODI on Friday.
After his electrifying half century, Afridi chipped in with 3-37 and also took two catches to bowl out New Zealand for 217 with more than 11 overs to spare.
"The only way of defense should be aggression, batsmen played their part and bowlers played theirs," Afridi said.
"Every game is a new game, so you have to keep repeating performances like this because we know New Zealand will want to come back hard."
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson top-scored with 46 and Luke Ronchi made 41 before Afridi had him clean bowled to finish the match.
Shehzad featured in three half-century stands before Afridi took charge and blasted six fours and three sixes in his second half century of the series against the wayward New Zealand fast bowlers after Williamson lost his third successive toss and had to bowl first.
New Zealand never looked to threaten Pakistan's tall total after 7-foot-1 (2.16-meter) Mohammad Irfan removed both openers Anton Devcich (0) and Martin Guptill (12) inside the first six overs.
Taylor hit 31 before he was clean bowled by Afridi's slider as New Zealand kept on losing wickets at regular intervals before its innings folded in 38.2 overs.
"From start to finish they put us under a lot of pressure and we couldn't come back," Williamson said.
Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez (33) provided Pakistan with a breezy opening stand of 63 runs off 47 balls with both hitting fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan for three successive boundaries in his second and third overs.
Anderson had Hafeez caught behind in the first over before Shehzad added 70 runs with Younis Khan (35) and another 77 runs with Asad Shafiq (23).
Shehzad pulled, cut and drove with power but escaped on 92 when wicketkeeper Ronchi couldn't grab a low catch off Anderson.
Shehzad completed his sixth ODI century and second against New Zealand off 112 balls before mistiming a pull shot off Henry, who got Shafiq clean bowled off the next delivery.
Afridi promoted himself ahead of Umar Akmal and blazed 89 runs for the fifth wicket stand with Haris Sohail (39) off only 46 balls before both gave Williamson catches while looking for quick runs.
Sarfraz Ahmed hammered 30 off 14 balls and Sohail Tanvir lofted two sixes late in the innings to give Pakistan bowlers an extremely strong total to defend.
Matt Henry took 3-69 on his 23rd birthday and Corey Anderson leaked 22 runs in the last over of the innings to finish with 1-96 as New Zealand conceded 37 boundaries and 11 sixes in Pakistan's highest ever total at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Abu Dhabi will host the remaining two ODIs of the series next Wednesday and Friday.