Finn Allen blasted a world-record-equaling 16 sixes in an innings of 137 from 62 balls as New Zealand beat Pakistan by 45 runs in the third Twenty20 international Wednesday to take a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
Allen equaled the world record set by Hazratullah Zazai of Afghanistan of 16 sixes in a T20 international innings and posted the highest score by a New Zealander in T20 internationals, beating Brendon McCullum’s 123 against Bangladesh in 2012.
New Zealand made 224-7 after being sent in by Pakistan for third time in the series.
Pakistan again fell short in the run chase as it did when it chased 227 in the first match of the series, losing by 46 runs and 195 in the second match, losing by 21. On Wednesday Pakistan was held to 179-7.
The only bright point was Babar Azam’s third consecutive half century of the series, his sixth in succession batting at No. 6 in T20 internationals. Babar was out for 58 in the 16th over when the chase already was beyond hopeless.
Hazratullah set the six-hitting record when he scored 162 from 62 balls against Ireland in 2019.
Two of Allen’s sixes carried more than 100 meters, one passing over the crossbar and between the uprights of the rugby ground adjacent to the University Oval. Three were hit so far out of the ground that the ball could not be found and had to be replaced.
He took a particular toll on Haris Rauf, who conceded only two runs from his first over but 28 runs and 23 runs from his next two overs. Rauf and Allen are teammates at the San Francisco Unicorns in Major League Cricket.
“It was good. I just tried to have a solid foundation and play good cricket shots,” Allen said. “What I’ve been working on is trying to have a solid foundation, a solid base and trying to build from there and hit the ball where it’s supposed to go.
“It’s about picking my moments when it’s time to go and picking bowlers. I think for me just playing the ball on its merits and were it’s supposed to go is what I’ve been trying to do.”
Allen’s record total began when he hit consecutive sixes from the second and third balls of the third over, bowled by Shaheen Shan Afridi. He hit 6, 4, 4, 6, 6, 1 off Rauf in the sixth over which also included a wide as New Zealand reached 67-1 at the end of the sixth-over power play.
Allen’s 50 came from only 26 balls and included three fours and five sixes. His six off Nawaz was his longest, carrying 107 meters. After 10 overs, New Zealand was 103-1.
Allen’s second T20 international century came from 48 balls and contained 11 sixes and he put on 125 with Tim Seifert (31) for the second wicket from 61 balls.
Allen finally was out in the 18th over when New Zealand was 203-4.
Pakistan never really had the momentum to approach such a substantial total. It lost Saim Ayub early and Mohammad Rizwan after a 39-run partnership with Babar.
Babar tried to keep the run chase alive but he lacked support and none of his partnerships was in the range it needed to be to carry Pakistan to victory.
Pakistan has now won only one of its last eight T20 internationals as it heads towards this year’s World Cup in the United States and Caribbean.