Finn Allen stole the spotlight as New Zealand secured a convincing 45-run victory over Pakistan in Dunedin on Wednesday, clinching the T20I series. Allen’s outstanding performance saw him smashing an impressive 137 runs in just 62 balls, setting a challenging 225-run target for Pakistan in the third match of the five-game series.
Despite a valiant effort from Babar Azam, who scored 58 off 37 balls and notched his third consecutive fifty in the series, Pakistan fell short. They reached 95 for two in the 11th over, but a flurry of wickets derailed their chase, losing four for just 39 runs.
In response to New Zealand’s daunting total, Mohammad Nawaz contributed 28 runs in 15 balls, displaying power with two fours and as many maximums. Mitchell Santner played a pivotal role in the bowling department, delivering an economical spell with one wicket for 26 runs in four overs.
Finn Allen’s explosive innings not only secured the series win but also etched his name in history, surpassing Brendon McCullum’s record for the highest individual score in men’s T20Is (123). Allen also equaled the record for the most sixes in an innings in men’s T20Is, hitting a remarkable 16.
Throughout his innings, Allen targeted Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf, punishing him for 27 runs in a single over, including three sixes, two fours, and a single. This stellar performance put New Zealand in a commanding position to clinch the series with two matches remaining, maintaining their unbeaten record at Dunedin’s University Oval.
Following the early departure of Devon Conway, Allen partnered with Tim Seifert to add 125 runs for the second wicket. Seifert, contributing 31 runs, played a supporting role by taking singles to keep the in-form batter on strike. The match saw umpires calling for replacement balls three times due to Allen’s powerful hits.
Allen’s innings came to an end in the 18th over when he was bowled by an off-cutter from Zaman Khan, who showed sportsmanship by applauding the departing batsman.
Pakistan’s bowlers had a challenging day, with Haris Rauf conceding 60 runs, Mohammad Nawaz giving up 44, and Shaheen Afridi conceding 43.
Both teams made three changes for the match, with Lockie Ferguson, Tim Seifert, and Mathew Henry coming in for New Zealand. On the other hand, Pakistan excluded Usama Mir and Aamer Jamal, while Abbas Afridi was ruled out due to injury. Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Nawaz, and Zaman Khan were the replacements.
With the series now in New Zealand’s favor, the remaining two matches are set to take place in Christchurch on Friday and Sunday.