Auckland, Feb 5 : : Jesse Ryder scored his second one day international century to help New Zealand earn a face-saving 57-run victory over Pakistan at Eden Park on Saturday in the sixth and final match of their series.
The win was just New Zealand's second in their last 16 completed ODIs and was sorely needed to give them a hint of self belief before they head to the World Cup in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Ryder scored 107 and combined in a 123-run partnership with Martin Guptill (44), while a 120-run partnership between Scott Styris (58 not out) and Nathan McCullum (65) at the end of the innings helped New Zealand to an imposing 311 for seven.
Wicketkeeper Kamral Akmal top-scored for the visitors, who held an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series before the match at Eden Park, with 89, including three glorious successive sixes into the lower deck of the impressive new grandstand at the ground.
Captain Shahid Afridi (44) also provided some late jitters for the New Zealanders as he combined with Sohail Tanvir (30) before being caught by Nathan McCullum off Hamish Bennett, who finished with for four for 46.
All rounder James Franklin captured three for 50 to give the small crowd something to cheer about when Pakistan were dismissed for 254.
Ryder, who was struggling with a leg injury and needed a runner for the latter part of his innings, blazed his way to his first 50 runs off 34 balls before the Pakistani bowlers restricted New Zealand through the middle overs.
The 26-year-old Ryder still managed to bring up his century off 82 balls with a flick off his hip to fine leg for his seventh boundary. He also smashed six sixes into the stands.
Styris and Nathan McCullum then batted intelligently for the final overs for a 120-run partnership, which included 71 runs in the third powerplay block of five overs before McCullum holed out in the deep.