After England scored its highest ever score in the first game at Eden Park in Auckland to win the opening match of the series on Saturday, New Zealand bounced back to score 6-192 after batting first at Seddon Park.
The Black Caps then bowled tremendously led by Ian Butler who took 2-9 from four overs with Mitchell McClenaghan and James Franklin combining to bowl England out for 137 in 19.3 overs.
England captain Stuart Broad won the toss and sent New Zealand into bat and the Black Caps made a tremendous start thanks to Martin Guptill, Hamish Rutherford and Brendon McCullum.
Second-gamer Rutherford, the son of former New Zealand captain Ken, put on an opening stand in no time with Martin Guptill. The pair made 75 in just 50 balls before Rutherford fell caught by Alex Hales off James Tredwell for 47 from 31 deliveries with four boundaries and two sixes.
Guptill then partnered up with captain Brendon McCullum for another 30 before Guptill fell for 40 from 27 balls with three sixes.
Former captain Ross Taylor then made just four, Colin Munro seven and Grant Elliott four, but McCullum went on to make 74 from just 38 deliveries with six fours and five sixes to be the star of the show for the Black Caps to get them to 6-192 in 20 overs.
England was in outstanding batting form in Auckland, but couldn’t replicate than on the even smaller surrounds in Hamilton.
Hales (5), Luke Wright (0) and Jonny Bairstow (8) all fell cheaply as England slumped to 3-24. It was then 4-43 with Michael Lumb out for 17, 5-47 with Eoin Morgan gone for 13 and 6-62 with Samit Patel gone for six.
It was then 7-80 with captain Broad out for one before a brief fight back from Jos Buttler and Tredwell. They put on 35 before Buttler was out for 22 from 11 balls when bowled by Franklin.
Buttler went on to make 54 from 30 balls before caught by Taylor off Franklin, and then the Black Caps closed out the match quickly with James Dernbach out for a first ball duck with England all out for 137 in 19.3 overs.
As well as Butler's 2-9 from four overs for New Zealand, McClenaghan took 2-24, Franklin 4-15 and Nathan McCullum 1-26.
McCullum was happy to deliver as captain, but more happy with the team's performance to level the series.
"It was good. Obviously the other night was disappointing for us and England blew us off the park really, but we played extremely well. It was set up at the top of the order by Hamish and Martin, and at the top of the order with the ball as well with Mitch and Trent," McCullum said.
"It's nice to make a contribution whether you are captain or not, but it's good to play a hand today as captain but there were many other players in the team that played a hand as well.
"The boys are very happy with tonight's performance and we head into the third game one-all and there will be a great crowd, and spectacle down in Wellington."
Broad was disappointing that his team didn’t replicate its form from Saturday, but is confident of bouncing back in the decider.
"We didn’t play overly well and credit to New Zealand for playing fantastically well. McCullum took the game away from us with the bat and we didn’t execute our skills 100 per cent right, and at the halfway point were still in with a chance though," Broad said.
"Obviously losing early wickets like we did meant we were always chasing the game from there. Bowling first was probably the wrong decision so I got that wrong. It was obviously a disappointing performance from us throughout really but Twenty20 can be a bit like that.
"You can play fantastically well one day and things don't go right for you the next day so credit goes to New Zealand because they outperformed us in pretty much every area.
"It will be an exciting final game now because both sides will be going hell for leather to win. We just have to pick ourselves back up and learn from this game, and move forward."
The final game of the three-match series will take place in Wellington on Friday before three one-day internationals and three Tests.