Sports, Cricket

Allen’s record- breaking 137 seals the series

Published : 17 Jan 2024 10:07 PM

 A blizzard of sixes off Finn Allen's bat tumbled records in Dunedin, where his second T20I hundred deflated Pakistan and helped New Zealand pile on 224 for a comfortable 45-run win in the third T20I. For the third game in a row, New Zealand were put in to bat; and for the third time in a row, Pakistan failed to chase down the score by relying on Babar Azam again, this time to lose the series which still has two games to go.

New Zealand had been going hard with the bat all series, and Allen took it up a level on Wednesday by smashing 16 of their 18 sixes and recording the highest individual T20I score for the hosts by going past Brendon McCullum's 123 from the 2012 World Cup. Allen's 16 sixes are also the joint-highest in a T20I innings, which helped him sprint to a 26-ball fifty and then a 48-ball century.

Pakistan also helped Allen by bowling too short even with the new ball, and the opening batter laid into their attack with his belligerent pulls and golf-like swings down the ground. In reply, only Mohammad Rizwan briefly gave Babar some support with his 24 but once he fell in the eighth over, no other Pakistan batter lasted more than 10 balls while Babar was out there. Babar fell for 58 while trying to up the scoring as the asking rate soared and Pakistan fell short again.

Alen had been going hard at the top earlier too, and with his highest T20 score, he already has 373 runs from five innings in the format this year. His assault started in the third over when he made the ball disappear beyond the square-leg boundary with consecutive sixes off Shaheen Afridi. Babar the lone man standing for Pakistan.

Babar was left to do the bulk of the scoring without much support from the other end, amid a stiff asking rate to keep up with. The promising Saim Ayub fell to Tim Southee again after miscuing his slower ball, before Babar and Rizwan kept the chase going. Rizwan's two meaty sixes would have given Pakistan hope as he and Babar put on 39 off 28 for the second wicket to keep them ticking at above eight runs an over, but when Santner fired one wide of the crease after seeing Rizwan charge, Seifert completed the stumping to dent Pakistan.