Ton-up Finn Allen powers New Zealand to T20I series win over Pakistan

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Ton-up Finn Allen powers New Zealand to T20I series win over Pakistan

Dunedin, JAN 17: Finn Allen starred as New Zealand beat Pakistan by 45 runs and clinched the T20I series in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Allen smashed 137 runs in 62 balls as New Zealand set Pakistan a daunting 225-run target in the third T20I of the five-match series.

In reply, Babar Azam, 58 off 37, scored his third consecutive fifty of the series but it was not enough to take Pakistan over the line.

Pakistan reached 95 for two in the 11th over, but saw a clutch of wickets derail their chase, losing four for just 39 runs.

Mohammad Nawaz scored 28 runs in 15 balls, with the help of two fours and as many maximums.

Mitchell Santner bowled an economical spell, taking one wicket for 26 runs in four overs.

Allen took Pakistan to the cleaners as he notched up the highest individual score for New Zealand in men’s T20Is, surpassing the previous best of 123 set by Brendon McCullum. He also hit the joint-most sixes, 16, in an innings in men’s T20Is.

The opener was particularly harsh on Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf, smashing 27 off one over including three sixes, two fours and a single.

Allen’s whirlwind knock put New Zealand in a strong position to clinch the five-match series with two matches left and maintain their unbeaten record at Dunedin’s University Oval.

After the early departure of Devon Conway for seven, Allen and Tim Seifert added 125 for the second wicket, with Seifert only contributing 31 as he decided to take singles to keep in-form batter on strike.

The umpires had to call for replacement balls thrice, after Allen smacked them out of the park.

The opener was eventually dismissed in the 18th over when he was bowled by an off-cutter from Zaman Khan, who then applauded the New Zealand batter as he left the field.

Rauf conceded 60 off his four overs while Mohammad Nawaz gave up 44 and Shaheen Afridi 43 on a dismal day with the ball for Pakistan.

Both teams made three changes heading into the clash.

Lockie Ferguson, Tim Seifert, and Mathew Henry came in for Kane Williamson, Adam Milne and Ben Sears.

Leg-spinner Usama Mir and all-rounder Aamer Jamal were excluded from the Pakistan lineup, while pacer Abbas Afridi was ruled out due to a low grade abdominal wall muscle strain.

Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Nawaz and Zaman Khan replaced the aforementioned trio for Pakistan.

The remaining two matches are in Christchurch on Friday and Sunday.