Martin Guptill delivered a man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series double to secure New Zealand a 5-0 clean sweep of Pakistan at the Basin Reserve, and extend their winning streak to 12 across all formats in completed games.
The opener compiled 100 from 126 balls, his 13th one-day international century. The innings was not his most dashing, but that made it no less satisfying. When he exited to a long-on catch at 213 for three in the 42nd over, a platform towards their winning 271 for seven total had been built.
Any fears New Zealand were pootling into a cul-de-sac were laid to rest by Guptill at 157 for two in the 34th over.
Consolidating on 72 off 99 balls, he slipped contemplating a single. Faheem Ashraf seized the ball in his follow-through and took an open shy. He missed.
"I thought ball went a bit squarer than it did," Guptill said. "It was one of those calamities that happens in cricket."
The reprieve acted like a shot of adrenaline. Guptill launched two fours through mid-off to complete the over, as New Zealand roared back onto the open road. Given two boundaries had been scored between the 21st and 33rd overs, it was a welcome respite.
"We wanted to take it as deep as we could," Guptill said of his pivotal 112-run third-wicket partnership with Taylor.
"We both battled to rotate the strike at various stages, but didn't want to throw our wickets away too early.
"It wasn't one of my most fluent innings, but sometimes you have to eke out the runs."
Guptill wowed fans with a series of characteristic drives on his way to a series average of 77.50 at a strike rate of 82. The highlight was a lofted specimen in the third over off Aamer Yamin which peppered the sightscreen scaffold.
Guptill said the pitch played relatively slowly for the Basin Reserve block.
"The new ball came on reasonably well but, once it got softer, it was harder to get away.
"They found a length which meant there was a lot of hard graft.
"Neither Ross or I kicked on, but that can happen. Our job was more about getting the team set up."
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was again impressed by New Zealand's handling of the conditions, albeit as hosts.
"It's all about bounce; it's considerably steeper than what we're used to. We've prepared for that – we travel with a granite slab that the players use - but it's hard to replicate that under pressure.
"That prompts different scoring areas for our guys. They're used to scoring off the front foot and square of the wicket. In New Zealand you score predominantly off the back foot and, if you get on the front foot, you generally hit straight.
"Our top order haven't done the job this series. Sometimes losing allows a bit of soul searching to rejig the team and ensure you're on the right page… particularly in foreign conditions. It's so incredibly frustrating at the moment."