Finn Allen, again | Images. PHOTOSPORT

Finn Allen blasts Firebirds total into orbit

Yet another Finn-tastic performance from 21-year-old hotshot Finn Allen has seen the Wellington Firebirds post their highest ever T20 total, 230/2 in a show-stopping victory at Auckland's Eden Park Outer Oval today.

Allen's 73 off just 35 balls was his sixth Dream11 Super Smash half century in 10 innings this season - his first summer for the Firebirds who were enjoying their last hit-out before their home Grand Final on Saturday.

Allen was ably assisted by BLACKCAP and last summer's NZC Domestic player of the year Devon Conway who finished unbeaten on 91* off 58 balls after having shared century stands with both Allen and Tom Blundell.

The Firebirds electing to bat at a warm Outer Oval, crisp-hitting Allen made an audacious start against Ross Ter Braak with 18 runs off the second over, then threw Kyle Jamieson off his length for another 16.

The bomb show eclipsed some terrific fielding from the Aces including a fine effort by Will O'Donnell, leaping to prevent another six flying into the bank.

But as the spinners came on to try to stem the flow, keeper Ben Horne dropped a crucial chance off Louis Delport when Allen was on 39*.

A spectator at the other end, Devon Conway was still on just 7* by the time Allen smoked up his 50 with a lofted straight six off Danru Ferns, his sixth T20 half ton in 10 innings flying off 24 balls on this occasion.

Allen kept on giving the Aces' attack a big headache until he was finally caught off Sean Solia for a 35-ball 73 at 105 for one.

Conway then stepped into the lead role as he fashioned another century stand for the second wicket with Tom Blundell (46 off 23), Conway achieving the rare feat of carrying his bat in a T20 innings to end on 91* off 58 rocks.

Both his partnerships were new Firebirds records against the Aces while the mammoth total of 230/2 was both a new Eden Park Outer Oval ground record and a new Firebirds record, as well as the third highest total in Dream11 Super Smash history and the highest this season.

The cards were stacked against the out of contention Aces trying to chase that down and the relatively early loss of Glenn Phillips (caught off Logan van Beek) and Mark Chapman (a big wicket for Peter Younghusband) cost them their best chance of some sort of explosive reply.

Meanwhile the Firebirds' attack could bowl with freedom, and knocked over the hosts for 191 on the last ball of the innings.

The highlight of the chase came from captain Michael Bracewell who pulled off one of the best catches of his career to dismiss Ferns.

The Firebirds now head home to the Basin to await either the Central Stags or Canterbury Kings, pending the result of Thursday's 2v3 Elimination Final.

Wellington Firebirds beat Auckland Aces by 39 runs

STATCHAT
Records broken and notable statistics in the game include:

  • 230/2: Wellington Firebirds' highest T20 total. Previous record: 221/3 v Otago Volts in Dunedin 2018/19
  • 230/2: Third highest total in Dream11 Super Smash history, after Otago Volts' 249/3 & Central Stags 248/4 (both at Pukekura Park, 2016/17, a world record match at the time) and equalling 230/5 (on runs; ranks above by wickets) by Northern Knights at McLean Park 2018/19
  • 230/2: The highest T20 total at Eden Park Outer Oval
  • 230/2: Highest total in this season's Dream11 Super Smash (previously: Central Stags 226/8 v Auckland Aces at Pukekura Park)
  • Finn Allen has now scored four of the top 15 fastest T20 half centuries by minutes in the league's history (record held by Ross Taylor, 13 minutes, at University of Otago Oval in 2005/06)
  • Allen equalled teammate and batting partner Devon Conway's Dream11 Super Smash and Firebirds record for most T20 half centuries in a season (six, set last summer by Conway)
  • Finn Allen now has 496 runs in the season, behind only Devon Conway (543 last season) and Jesse Ryder 584 in (2012/13) in Wellington Firebirds history
  • Devon Conway scored his third consecutive T20 half century, his fourth overall this season
  • Conway and Allen put on 105 for the first wicket, the highest first wicket partnership in Firebirds T20s against Aces (previous record: Luke Ronchi and Hamish Marshall at Eden Park Outer Oval in 2017/18)
  • Conway and Tom Blundell put on 102 for the second wicket, the highest second wicket partnership in Firebirds T20s v Aces (previous record 61 by Jesse Ryder and Michael Papps in 2012/13)