Local resident and former Saint Kentigern College student Finn Allen announced his arrival to international opposition with an impressive 104 (retired) versus the touring England team when playing for a New Zealand XI in Whangarei recently.
Allen unleashed a boundary-blitzkrieg 10 fours and two sixes in a 130-ball stay against an attack that contained test regulars Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, World Cup hero Ben Stokes and new pace sensation Jofra Archer.
The innings was the next stage of development for the talented 20-year-old who has long been tipped for higher honours and is a current member of the Auckland Ace’s squad.
The Times caught up with Finn this week and started by asking him how he found it facing Archer and Broad.
“Challenging to say the least, the consistency and skill they have with the ball was probably the toughest part. I’ve also never faced a spell of bowling where I did more ducking and swaying than putting bat to ball, which was pretty cool to face but quite scary at the same time.”
What was your mindset when you went out to bat? Play your natural game or dig in for a bit?
“I tried my hardest to just focus on watching the ball, as opposed to who was delivering it which meant I could just stick to playing my natural game. However, all of that went out the window as soon as I looked up to see Jofra Archer steaming in at the top of his mark. I was definitely nervous to face him, especially watching him bowl before I walked out. However I found the longer I got to face him, the more comfortable I felt (although it’s never comfortable having the ball fizz past your grill every third delivery).”
What games do you have for Auckland coming up?
“Currently the Ford Trophy (one-day) competition is underway in which we have a ridiculously good squad so I haven’t been able to crack the side to play yet, but fingers crossed I get an opportunity at some stage. Until then I’ve got plenty of cricket to play with Auckland A and for Suburbs New Lynn.”
Who are your favourite players? Who have you modelled your game after?
“I’ve always loved watching Kevin Pietersen play, the way he went about his batting by taking it to the opposition and expressing himself was awesome to watch. So if there was anybody I would say I mirrored my game around, it would probably be him.”