New Zealand secured a commanding T20 series victory against Pakistan with two matches to spare, courtesy of opener Finn Allen’s remarkable 137 off 62 balls at University Oval in Dunedin on Wednesday.
Having been sent in to bat in the third game of the five-match series, the Black Caps dominated with a formidable total of 224 for seven. They went on to clinch the victory by 45 runs, restricting Pakistan to 179 for seven. This triumph followed their previous wins by 46 and 21 runs in the first two encounters.
Finn Allen’s explosive performance continued from his earlier knock of 74 off 21 balls in the second game. Displaying aggressive batting, he sent the ball soaring out of the ground, amassing an impressive tally of 16 sixes and five fours in his whirlwind innings.
The opener’s innings of 137 marks the highest score by a New Zealander in a T20 international, eclipsing the previous record of 123 set by Brendon McCullum. Additionally, Finn Allen’s remarkable feat equals the world record for the most sixes in an innings, a record shared with Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai, with both players hitting an impressive 16 sixes.
He asserted his dominance over the bowling attack, particularly in an over by Haris Rauf, where he accumulated 27 runs with three sixes, two fours, and a single.
Rauf conceded 60 runs in his four overs, while Mohammad Nawaz and Shaheen Afridi had challenging outings, giving away 44 and 43 runs, respectively, on a challenging day for the Pakistani bowlers.
Following the early dismissal of Devon Conway for seven, Finn Allen and Tim Seifert formed a formidable partnership, adding 125 runs for the second wicket. Seifert, contributing 31, strategically opted for singles to ensure Allen, the aggressive opener, retained strike.
The umpires had to replace the ball three times as Finn Allen consistently sent powerful shots out of the ground.
Allen’s innings came to an end in the 18th over when he was bowled by an off-cutter from Zaman Khan, who graciously applauded the departing New Zealand batsman.
In response, Pakistan struggled to match the required run rate of 11.25. Although they reached 95 for two in the 11th over, a flurry of wickets disrupted their chase, losing four for just 39 runs.
Babar Azam top-scored with 58 off 37 deliveries, while Mohammad Nawaz played a late cameo, contributing 28 off 15.
The upcoming two matches are scheduled in Christchurch on Friday and Sunday.