MAJOR LEAGUE CRICKET 2024

Finn Allen loses his trigger, finds six-hitting joy again

Finn Allen smashed five sixes in five deliveries against LAKR
Finn Allen smashed five sixes in five deliveries against LAKR ©Sportzpics

For a man who had experienced a high of smoking 16 sixes in about 90 minutes, for someone who loves the fast lane, Finn Allen must have been battling the shakes after arriving in Dallas with a solitary six to show for in more than 90 days. Allen, who turned up for the San Francisco Unicorns from a personally dismal World Cup campaign in the Caribbean showed no signs of apprehensions as he blazed his way to 63 off 37 deliveries to annihilate the LA Knight Riders with a 7-wicket win.

Coming off a three-month injury lay-off, Allen found life difficult in the Caribbean. Allen failed to emulate the highs of the New Zealand summer that saw him catapult to fame with that dazzling innings against Pakistan. But Allen dazzled again, albeit for a short burst. Harris Rauf, his fellow Unicorn who had borne the brunt of some of Allen's wrath in that monumental innings by being thrashed for three sixes in three deliveries, flashed a morbid smile when Shakib Al Hassan met similar fate. Allen had already clubbed two sixes in as many deliveries against Andre Russell in the previous over, making it five in five for the Kiwi opener.

Allen credits New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi and Auckland coach Rob Nicol for giving him a fresh perspective on his batting after the end of the New Zealand summer. Ronchi asked Allen to be economical with his effort in his stance and routine of facing the ball. He was asked to scrap the trigger movement to pick the length a fraction early.

"I think I had a few months out of the game with injuries before the World Cup so I had a good chance to hone my skills and think about how I want to play the game and I think I got rid of my trigger before the ball is bowled so I could be more still and I guess, pick up length a bit better and I think that certainly helped me. It took me time to get used to it but yeah, just trying to work hard behind the scenes and I guess have a stronger base as possible. There were no downsides. I think my trigger wasn't doing me any favours. It was if anything, hindering me," Allen said.

Allen's Klaasen-esque dismantling of Shakib gave an impression of how good he was in picking the length, moreover off a spinner which can be more difficult than a pacer. He deposited a full ball off Shakib straight down the ground. But when Shakib pulled his length back a bit, he rocked back deep in his crease to smack them long and straight again. They weren't short balls, they were on a spinner's good length. But Allen was quick to jag back and use the strong base he kept stressing about to club them straight, one sailed over 99 metres. A shot that is now in vogue after Klaasen mastered them on the world stage.

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