T20I World Cup: T20 cricket is the most watched format of cricket among cricket fans. Fans of cricket enjoy watching players smash the bowlers for boundaries and sixes. And when it comes to the T20 World Cup, every player wants to give it all to help his team win the match. However, whether chasing or setting the target, a good partnership can ease the pressure for the batting team.
However, the biggest opportunity for the batting team is to score the maximum runs on the power play. Because if a team gets a good start, half the job is already done. That is the reason openers are among the best batters on their team. And there is no better moment for the team or its fans than when the openers are scoring runs in a match. And if it is a match in the World Cup, scoring runs up front becomes more vital. So, in this article we will discuss the top ten highest opening partnerships in the history of the T20 World Cup.
1. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan (152*) against India in T20 World Cup 2021
The highest and most recent partnerships came in the last T20 World Cup in the UAE, in the most watched cricket match of the year. This was the game between two arch-rivals, India and Pakistan, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Winning the toss, Babar Azam asked India to bat first. And how well Shaheen Afridi started with the ball in his hand. He took the important wicket of Rohit Sharma (0) in the very first over. Then he came back to dismiss KL Rahul (3) in his second over of the innings. Suryakumar Yadav (11) couldn’t do much in his debut match of the T20 World Cup.
However, skipper Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant put on 53 runs for the fourth wicket and looked good to set a good target. But in the end, Afridi came back and dismissed Kohli as well, ending the hope of setting a big target. Chasing the target of 152, Pakistan had a dream start and both openers started to play their shots and hit the boundaries. They took on the Indian bowlers and kept scoring runs throughout the innings. In this process, both openers also scored their respective half-centuries and chased down the target in 17.5 overs without losing any wickets. Babar was unbeaten on 68 and Rizwan on 79. With this win, Pakistan also ended India’s winning streak in World Cup events.
2. Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith (145) against South Africa in the T20 World Cup 2007
This was the first match of Group A in the inaugural season of the T20I World Cup in South Africa. West Indies locked horns with host South Africa at the Johannesburg. Greame Smith won the toss and elected to field first. Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith opened the West Indies innings. And it was carnage from Universe Boss’ bat. Gayle started to smash South African bowlers into all parts of the ground. However, Smith was also playing his shot, but who could match the hitting ability of Chris Gayle?
The left-hander scored his half-century in 26 balls and carried on to his innings. Both batters brought up their teams’ century in just 9.4 overs. However, after scoring 35 runs, Dwyane Smith got out to debutant Vernon Philander. Before getting out, both openers had added 145 runs for the first wicket in just 13.3 overs. The left-hander was playing his shot on the other hand and scored the first ever century in the T20I World Cup in the very first game. Gayle ended his innings on 117 off 57 balls, including seven fours and ten maximums, and helped his team to score 205/6.
However, with an unbeaten 90 from Herschelle Gibbs and 46* from Justin Kemp, they helped the hosts chase down the target with 14 balls to spare and eight wickets in hand. In the end, Gayle was also named the “Man of the Match.”
3. Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt (142) against Bangladesh in T20I World Cup 2010
This was the fourth match of the T20I World Cup 2010 between Pakistan and Bangladesh in Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia. Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to bat first. Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal opened the innings for Pakistan. Both were in good form prior to the tournament and carried on their form in this match as well. Both openers started to play their shots and toy with the Bangladeshi bowlers. None of the bowlers looked effective against them.
Both openers also brought up their respective half-century in the partnership. They achieved a 100-run partnership in 11.4 overs. However, the partnership ended on 142 in 15.5 overs when Kamran Akmal got out to Shakib Al Hasan. Interestingly. both openers got out on 73. Akmal scored 73 off 55 and Butt scored 73 off 46. They helped Pakistan to post a target of 173. In the end, Bangladesh fell short by 21 runs and lost the match. Salman Butt was adjudged “Man of the Match” for his performance.
T20 World Cup Highest Opening Partnership List
|Mohammad Rizwan – Babar Azam (PAK)||152*||India||Dubai||2021|
|Chris Gayle – Dwayne Smith (WI)||145||South Africa||Johannesburg||2007|
|Kamran Akmal – Salman Butt (PAK)||142||Bangladesh||Gros Islet||2010|
|Gautam Gambhir – Virender Sehwag (IND)||136||England||Durban||2007|
|Chris Gayle – Andre Fletcher (WI)||133||Australia||The Oval||2009|
|Shane Watson – David Warner (AUS)||133||India||Colombo||2012|
|Aqib Ilyas – Jatinder Singh (Oman)||131*||PNG||Al Amerat||2021|
|Tillakaratne Dilshan – Sanath Jayasuriya (SL)||124||West Indies||Nottingham||2009|
|Mohammad Hafeez – Imran Nazir (PAK)||124||Bangladesh||Pallekele||2012|
|Adam Gilchrist – Matthew Hayden (AUS)||104||Bangladesh||Cape Town||2007|