NEW DELHI: In Twenty20 cricket, a single batsman can change the course of the game dramatically with his performance but when a couple of batsmen fire in tandem then the opposition is truly pummelled into submission.
In the short but entertaining history of T20 International cricket so far, there have been a few occasions, when a batting pair has gone berserk, making the match almost a one-sided affair for their team. There have been instances where a couple of batsmen, in top form, on the same day have fired in unison to completely stamp their authority on the contest.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the highest partnerships (for any wicket) in T20 Internationals:
Hazratullah Zazai and Usman Ghani (Afghanistan) – 236 vs Ireland in 2019

On February 23, 2019, Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai and Usman Ghani seemed just unstoppable, as the duo shattered a number of T20 international records in a match against Ireland in Dehradun. The pair came out all guns blazing against the Irish bowlers, putting on a mammoth 236 run stand for the first wicket — the highest ever partnership in T20Is so far. Opting to bat after winning the toss, both Zazai and Ghani just went hammer and tongs at the Irish bowlers from the word go, putting on the world record T20 international partnership for any wicket. It was an extra special day for Zazai, as the left-hander cracked an unbeaten 162 (off just 62 balls) — the second highest total by a batsman in T20Is. During the Zazai-Ghani mayhem both the openers ripped apart the Irish bowlers, smacking 16 fours and 18 sixes together before Ghani departed for 73 in the 18th over. But Zazai continued thereafter to help Afghanistan put on the highest ever T20I total (278/3). With a total of 16 sixes in the match, Zazai also ended up hitting the most sixes in a T20I encounter. The Ireland batsman tried to put up a fight while chasing an unprecedented total, but could only manage 194/6 at the end of 20 overs.

Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short (Australia) – 223 vs Zimbabwe in 2018

Explosive Australian opening batsmen Aaron Finch and D’Arcy were at their destructive best in a match against minnows Zimbabwe on July 3, 2018. The duo mercilessly smacked the opposition bowlers to register 223 runs for the opening wicket — the second highest partnership in T20Is. Even though Finch was the clear aggressor in that match, scoring 172 (the highest ever total by a batsman in a T20 international match), Short played the perfect second fiddle (46) as the duo registered their name in the record books. Put into bat after losing the toss, Finch and Short took on the Zimbabwe bowlers from the first ball. Looking to hit everything out of the park, Finch in particular took the opposition bowlers to the cleaners. Before both the openers got out in the final over, Finch and Short had hammered 19 fours and 12 sixes combined, as Australia ended up scoring 229 for 2. Chasing a humongous total, Zimbabwe were restricted to 129/9, handing the Aussies a big 100-run win.
George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer (Scotland) – 200 vs Netherlands in 2019

Little known in the international arena, Scotland’s George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer entered their names in the record books with one of their most powerful performances together against Netherlands in Malahide on September 16, 2019. The opening pair smacked a 200-run partnership to blow away the Dutch bowlers in the second match of the Tri-series. Firing in unison, both Munsey and Coetzer spared none of the opposition bowlers, helping their team reach the 200-run mark in the first 90 balls. During their power-packed performance, Munsey and Coetzer together struck 14 fours and 17 sixes before Coetzer got out for 89 in the 16th over. But Munsey carried on to score 127 not out off just 56 balls, helping his team reach 252/3 in the designated 20 overs. With a total of 14 sixes, Munsey alone took the game away from the Netherlands as he became the joint second highest six-hitter in an innings alongside Australia’s Aaro Finch. Riding on the powerful performance from George and Coetzer, Scotland won the match by 54 runs.
Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan (England) – 182 vs New Zealand in 2019

England, in the recent past have had great success in T20Is and that has been because of the new heroes they have found in almost every match, who have accepted the responsibility of taking their team across the finish-line. In one such instance, Dawid Malan showcased his tremendous hitting abilities in a match against New Zealand in Napier on November 8, 2019. And along with Malan, the ever reliable Eoin Morgan, also stepped up to produce one of the most sublime partnerships in T20Is. Malan and Morgan together added 182 runs for the third wicket to take England to a gigantic total of 241/3 against the Kiwis. While Malan scored an unbeaten 103 off just 51 balls, Morgan with his 41-ball 91 blitz stole the show. With a total of 14 fours and 13 sixes together, Malan and Morgan tore apart the Black Caps bowling attack. From 58/2 to taking England to 241/3, both batsmen displayed stupendous batting skills, hitting the ball to all corners of the park. Chasing a gigantic total, the hosts were bowled out for 165 in the 17th over
Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson (New Zealand) – 171* vs Pakistan in 2016

Over the years, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson have played quite a few memorable knocks together. Be it while batting first or while chasing a total, the Guptill-Williamson pair has been like a fire and ice combination, where Guptill clearly has been the aggressor on most occasions while Williamson has just eased the team to victories. In one such instance the pair effortlessly took their team across the finish line, while in pursuit of 169 against Pakistan at Hamilton on January 17, 2016. Without breaking a sweat in the chase, the pair took their team to victory with 14 balls to spare. Right from the beginning of the chase, both Guptill and Williamson played aggressively, taking on the Pakistan bowlers. The duo hit a total of 20 fours and four sixes. Guptill and Williamson scored 87* and 72* respectively to put on an unbeaten 171 run stand and hand Pakistan a 10 wicket loss.



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