Cricket: Finn Allen presses his claim to become Blackcaps' main man with Twenty20 World Cup on the horizon

Blackcaps opener Finn Allen has staked his claim to take the role full-time, after his ballistic innings gave New Zealand a nine-wicket victory over Pakistan in Christchurch.

Chasing 131 at Hagley Oval, Allen, 23, hammered a 31-ball half-century on his way to 62 runs from 42 balls. including six sixes.

Partnering Devon Conway at the top of the Blackcaps order, Allen appears to have edged in front of Martin Guptill - possibly New Zealand's greatest-ever white-ball batter - in plans for this month's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

The innings follows an impressive winter tour for Allen, who made his highest international scores in one-dayers - 96 against the West Indies at Bridgetown - and T20s - 101 against Scotland at Edinburgh.

For teammate Michael Bracewell, who shares a dressingroom with Allen for province and country, Allen's efforts only back up his displays for Wellington Firebirds in recent seasons.

"I've seen him do that on numerous occasions domestically," Bracewell said. "To do it against a world-class bowling attack is the next progression for him.

"He's certainly doing it more and more consistently now. The way that he goes and rolls out the way he's played for the Firebirds, internationally, is very impressive.

Finn Allen against Pakistan.
Finn Allen against Pakistan. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

"It's something we can all take inspiration from, knowing the way we play domestically is good enough at this international level.

"Seeing him take on the bowlers and the fielders is pretty impressive. He certainly gives the ball a good whack - it was awesome to see him do so well."

Allen's onslaughts don't just help the Blackcaps batters either. With the New Zealand bowlers coming up against him - and the team's other power hitters - in the nets, the benefits will show out on the field, Bracewell explains.

"If you can restrict him to a single or even a dot ball, if you're lucky, in the nets, you're putting yourself in a good position to bowl to some of these guys we come up against.

"He's certainly someone that I line up in the nets quite a lot to really test myself.

Finn Allen.
Finn Allen. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

"You could say that about a number of our batsmen in our team as well. There's certainly a lot of power in our side.

"It's something that gets us all better as a bowling unit, bowling to our batters in the nets."

Allen and the Blackcaps have another chance to show their wares in the T20 tri-series against Pakistan, which continues in Christchurch on Wednesday afternoon.

Join us at 3pm Wednesday for live updates of the NZ v Bangladesh tri-series clash