Throwback to when Sri Lanka recorded the highest T20 World Cup score against minnows Kenya
Sri Lanka’s 260 for 6 against Kenya in the 2007 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is the highest T20 World Cup score.
Taking on Kenya in their first group stage match, the island nation rode on the back of Sanath Jayasuriya’s 44-ball 88 followed by captain Mahela Jayawardene’s 27-ball 65. A late cameo by Jehan Mubarak, who scored 46 off just 13 balls, also helped boost Sri Lanka’s total to 260/6 after 20 overs.
Sri Lanka had initially made a slow start to their innings, scoring just four runs in the opening over and nine in the second. In fact, by the end of the third over, the Lankan Lions had lost Upul Tharanga and were scoring at a measly rate of 6.33 runs per over.
However, Kenya’s Peter Ongondo’s second over changed the course of the match and gave Sri Lanka some much-needed momentum. Ongondo conceded 15 runs in the fourth over and Sri Lanka were now scoring at more than eight runs per over. By the end of the powerplay overs, the island nation had scored 53/1 and that was just the beginning of what was to come.
Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara then went berserk when Nehemiah Odhiambo bowled his second over. Jayasuriya hit the Kenyan for two boundaries and a six as he along with Sangakarra took Odhiambo for 19 runs off his second over.
Once Sangakkara was gone, it was Mahela Jayawardene’s turn. With eight overs remaining, Sri Lanka upped the ante as Jayasuriya and Jayawardene hit Steve Tikolo for 25 runs in the 13th over. By that time, Sri Lanka’s run rate rose to a whopping 12. However, the best was still to come.
By the end of the 18th over, Sri Lanka had put 215/6 on board and it was now time for a Jehan Mubarak special. Taking on Lameck Onyango, Mubarak started off with three consecutive sixes after which he hit a boundary, which was followed by yet another maximum. Thanks to Mubarak’s cameo, Sri Lanka scored 45 runs in the last two overs as they finished with a score of 260/6.
While it was already a difficult score to chase down for Kenya, the Lankans put on a dominant show with the ball by dismissing their opponent for a paltry score of 88 runs.
Pacers Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga and off-spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan picked two wickets each while Jayasuriya capped off an already solid individual performance with a wicket before being rightly named as the Player of the Match.
It’s been 14 years since Sri Lanka created the record and while the number has been surpassed in Twenty20 internationals, no team has come close to breaking the record in the T20 World Cup.
Highest team totals in T20 World Cup
Featured photo: AFP / Lakruwan Wanniarachchi