Sports News from Dunedin : In Dunedin, where his second Twenty20 International century demoralised Pakistan and helped New Zealand amass 224 for a comfortable 45-run victory in the third Twenty20 International, Finn Allen’s barrage of sixes broke records. New Zealand was put in to bat for the third time in a row, and Pakistan again failed to reduce the total by depending solely on Babar Azam, resulting in a loss of the series with two games remaining.

While New Zealand had been hitting hard with the bat throughout the series, Allen elevated the game on Wednesday, hitting 16 of their 18 sixes and setting a new record for the hosts in the T20I format, surpassing Brendon McCullum’s 123 from the 2012 World Cup. In addition to having the most sixes in a T20I innings (16), Allen also made quick work of a 26-ball fifty and a 48-ball century.  Pakistan’s overly short bowling, even with the new ball, and the opening batsman’s aggressive pulls and ground-ball swings contributed to Allen’s advantage.

Only Mohammad Rizwan, who scored 24, offered Babar some temporary respite in response, but when he was out of the game in the eighth over, no other Pakistani hitter was able to stay out of the field for more than ten balls. Pakistan failed once more as Babar failed to score more when trying to do so, falling for 58 as the asking rate shot skyrocketed.

Allen destroys Pakistan once more

With his best T20 score, Allen has now amassed 373 runs from five innings in the format this year. He had been dominating the top earlier as well. His attack began in the third over when he hit two consecutive sixes off Shaheen Afridi, making the ball go past the square-leg boundary.

After dismissing Devon Conway in the next over, which saw just two runs, Haris Rauf would have assumed he would have a nice day. However, his second over, the final one of the powerplay, was smashed for 28 runs, 27 of which came off Allen’s bat. Allen hit them for two fours and three sixes in the over, helping New Zealand reach 67 in the powerplay regardless of how long Rauf threw the ball.

After entering the playing XI, Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Wasim cooperated for two overs without a boundary. However, Allen, who had already reached 50, then hit two sixes off Nawaz in the ninth over. Allen remained silent for a while thanks to Wasim and Zaman Khan’s few yorkers and slower ones to momentarily bring the scoring rate below ten, but as Rauf came back, Allen started to score again.

After hitting Rauf for three sixes in an over that ended for 23, he raced from 72 to 91 in only five deliveries. He also reached 100 with a six and four over covers off Afridi. There were still seven overs in the innings after all of this. Allen was unstoppable despite Tim Seifert—a replacement for the injured Kane Williamson—and Daryl Mitchell falling in consecutive overs. In the fifteenth over, he hit Nawaz and Wasim for successive sixes after the fast bowler mishandled the pads.

After the preceding ball, a full toss, had slammed into the sight screen, Zaman eventually produced an accurate length ball that lacked pace and halted the carnage when Allen chopped on. Five fours in Allen’s 137 off 62 were hardly the high point of the knock. No matter where the ball was pitched to him, he seemed to prefer the leg side, as seen by the 13 sixes he hit and the 95 (69%) runs he scored there.

After Allen’s wicket, wickets fell steadily as New Zealand tried to get rapid runs. New Zealand was stopped short of their first-T20I score of 226 by Pakistan, who gave up just 13 runs in the final 12 deliveries after Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, and Glenn Phillips fell in the space of seven balls.

The only person representing Pakistan is Babar.

Babar had a tough asking rate to meet and was left to handle the majority of the scoring without much assistance from the other end. After mishandling his slower ball, the talented Saim Ayub was dismissed by Tim Southee once more. However, Babar and Rizwan managed to continue the pursuit. As he and Babar put up 39 off 28 for the second wicket to keep Pakistan ticking at nearly eight runs per over, Rizwan’s two meaty sixes would have given them hope. However, Seifert completed the stumping to hurt Pakistan when Santner hit one wide of the crease after seeing Rizwan charge.

Had his leading edge off Ish Sodhi not fallen in no-man’s land behind the wicketkeeper, Fakhar would have also been out the next over, but his luck ran out when he miscued Lockie Ferguson to mid-off. Pakistan now needed 130 runs from 55 balls.

Babar produced some exquisite shots, similar to his 57 and 66 in the opening two games, including some wristy flips and lofted shots off Sodhi, but his elegant draw off Matt Henry was likely his best shot of the day. At the end of the 13th over, Azam Khan holed out to a sharp catch from Phillips at deep midwicket, and seven balls later, Iftikhar Ahmed failed to score a quick run with a careless attempt after driving the ball to cover from where Santner hit a straight hit. This was his third consecutive fifty, but it was not enough either.

Nawaz and Afridi hit more boundaries, but Babar hit two more fours off Sodhi before falling in the 16th over of the match. Pakistan’s job of scoring an additional 91 runs off 25 balls was not going to be accomplished.


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