Tri-series: New Zealand crush Pakistan by nine wickets to win 4th T20I

CHRISTCHURCH (AFP): Finn Allen showed his form ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup by top-scoring for New Zealand with a disciplined batting display in their nine-wicket romp over Pakistan in Christchurch on Tuesday in the tri-series.

Allen blasted six sixes in a tally of 62 off 42 balls as the Black Caps chased down 130-7 with ease at Hagley Oval as New Zealand claimed their second win of the series.

The hosts’ victory leaves both Pakistan and New Zealand on two wins and a defeat each, with the Black Caps next facing Bangladesh on Wednesday, also in Christchurch.

The three nations are using the week-long tournament to fine-tune for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this month.

The Black Caps avenged Saturday’s defeat to Pakistan with an improved bowling performance before Allen and Devon Conway quickly found their stride in an opening partnership of 117 to set up victory.

After Allen was stumped by Mohammad Rizwan, Black Caps captain Kane Williamson replaced him at the crease to eventually claim the winning single as New Zealand won with 23 balls to spare.

Having guided New Zealand to victory over Bangladesh last Sunday with an unbeaten 70, Conway was again impressive at the crease, grabbing five fours in his unbeaten tally of 49 off 46 balls.

Pakistan were allowed to settle with neither bat nor ball.

New Zealand bowler Michael Bracewell again claimed the man-of-the-match award by taking the key wickets of the prolific opening pair of Rizwan (16) and captain Babar Azam (21), in fine figures of two for 11 from his four overs.

Iftikhar Ahmed top-scored with 27, including three fours.

Tim Southee removed Iftikhar and Mohammad Nawaz with the first two deliveries of the final over, but Mohammad Wasim survived the hat-trick ball.

Haris Rauf was replaced by Naseem Shah in the Pakistan team as the young pacer’s health condition improved.

The Men in Green have so far snagged two wins in the ongoing cricket event. Pakistan registered their second win in the tri-series by defeating the hosts in Saturday’s clash. Pakistan defeated Bangladesh in the series opener against Bangladesh on October 7.

The three teams are part of a week-long tournament being played in Christchurch. Each side is using it to prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia, starting later this month.

Playing XI:

Pakistan: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Waim, Shahnawaz Dahani, Naseem Shah,

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner