Napier: Dawid Malan struck a maiden century from 48 balls in a record 182-run partnership with Eoin Morgan which propelled England to a 76-run win over New Zealand in the fourth Twenty20 cricket international Friday which leveled the five-match series at 2-2.
Malan's unbeaten century was the fastest by an England batsman in a T20 international, beating by 12 balls Alex Hales' record of 60 deliveries and lifting England to 241-3, its highest score in the 20-over format.
New Zealand, never in the match, was dismissed for 165 in the 17th over.
Morgan was out in the last over for 91, ending a 182-run partnership which was the highest by an England pair in T20s and the fourth highest of all-time.
Malan finished 103 not out, extending his extraordinary record in Twenty20 internationals. The left-hander now has a century and five half centuries from nine innings and a batting average of 57.25.
Tom Banton gave England a brisk beginning, hitting 31 from 20 balls after the Blakc Caps' stand-in captain, Tim Southee, made the inexplicable decision to bowl on winning the toss on the best batting wicket in New Zealand.
Malan came to the crease after the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow (8) in the fourth over and immediately took control.
He reached his half century from 31 balls, just ahead of Morgan who posted his 11th T20 50 from only 21 deliveries. But Malan was the inexorable force behind the partnership. He went on to post a second half century from only 17 deliveries and to reach a century which included nine fours and six sixes.
Tim Seifert (3), Colin Munro (30), Colin de Grandhomme (7) and Daryl Mitchell (2) quickly followed, taking with them any hope of a New Zealand win which would have clinched the series. Spinner Matt Parkinson removed Munro, de Grandhomme and Parkinson to defuse the threat of New Zealand's big hitters and finish with 4-47.
There was no discipline in the New Zealand run chase and when Ross Taylor was out for 14 at 89-6 in the 10th over it was at an end. Southee was the top scorer with 39.
The final match of the series is at Auckland on Sunday.