Cricket: Finn Allen fireworks see Auckland Aces hammer Canterbury Kings to go top of Super Smash

A six-laden knock from Blackcaps opener Finn Allen left Canterbury with no answers, as Auckland sealed an eight-wicket victory over Canterbury in the Twenty20 Super Smash.  

Even after losing opening partner Martin Guptill to injury before a ball had been bowled, Allen scored an unbeaten 78 runs from just 46 balls, as the Aces chased down their target with more than four overs to spare.   

Fresh from a half-century in Auckland's win over Wellington Firebirds earlier this week, Allen scored 50 for the second time in as many innings, threatening to find the consistency that at times has threatened to halt his clear promise at the highest level.

Finn Allen was man of the match for Auckland.
Finn Allen was man of the match for Auckland. Photo credit: Photosport

Allen's knock - which didn't see him clear the ropes until his 21st ball - saw him hit six sixes, to go with four fours seeing a staggering 56 of his runs coming from boundaries.  

After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first against a Canterbury side containing nine internationals, Auckland's bowlers did their job in restricting their hosts to just 140/5 from their 20 overs.  

Returning Blackcap Daryl Mitchell was the standout, courtesy of an unbeaten 57 from 50 balls, but regular wickets cost Canterbury the chance to take control of the match.  

Aside from Mitchell, no other batter bettered 25 to Michael Rippon, with the duo's 59-run stand the highest of the innings.  

Boasting two international frontline bowlers of their own in Ben Lister (1/31) and Lockie Ferguson (1/24) it was left-arm spinner Louis Delport who stood tallest for Auckland's attack, taking 2/20 from a miserly four-over spell that halted Canterbury in their tracks.   

Tasked with chasing 141 for victory, an injury in the field didn't deter Auckland at all.  

Despite taking his time to get going, as Sean Solia (13) dominated the early scoring, Allen's innings saw him play out Matt Henry (0/16), before taking the attack to the rest of Canterbury's bowlers.   

Allen dominated the scoring in a partnership worth 118 with Blackcaps teammate Mark Chapman (38), and took a liking to the bowling of Ish Sodhi (0/29 from two overs). 

Having not hit a six for his first 20 balls, it took Allen just 11 deliveries to move from 16 to 50, hitting three boundaries and four sixes in the process.   

At 139/1 and with the target in sight, Chapman fell trying to clear the ropes for the winning runs when he was caught by Henry off the bowling of Rippon.  

But Auckland skipper Robbie O'Donnell obliged, and saw his side home with 28 balls to spare.  

The win sends Auckland to the top of the Super Smash ladder, with three wins from their six games, two points clear of Wellington who have a game in hand.  

Canterbury meanwhile remain third, having missed their own chance to top the table with a large enough win over the Aces. 

Canterbury Kings 140/5 (Mitchell 57 not out; Delport 2/20)  

Auckland Aces 141/2 (Allen 78 not out; Foulkes 1/13)

Auckland win by eight wickets