Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene’s 166-run stand with Kumar Sangakkara for the second wicket against West Indies in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2010 is the highest partnership in T20 World Cup.

The Group F match between two strong T20 teams in Bridgetown, Barbados, saw Sri Lanka electing to bat first after winning the toss. West Indies got an early breakthrough after Kemar Roach dismissed Sanath Jayasuriya in the first delivery of the third over, but what happened next is yet to be matched by any other nation in cricket’s shortest format.

Wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara arrived when Sri Lanka were at 1/7. Roach proceeded to bowl a good over as only two runs came off it. The Lankans, however, soon upped the ante as Jayawardene and Sangakkara hit Jerome Taylor for 14 runs in the fourth over.

Relishing the change in order

Jayawardene, 32 at the time, was in the form of his life. In fact, this was the first tournament where he was opening the batting for his team alongside Jayasuriya. With Sangakkara given the captaincy, it took no time for Jayawardene to adapt to his new role as he scored 81 off just 51 balls against New Zealand in the first match followed by a century against Zimbabwe.

"I am enjoying it [opening the batting]" Jayawardene said after the match. 

"Batting in the middle was a challenge, I adapted and I did different things but I think opening the batting has given me much more freedom to go out and express myself - guys need to find that," he added.

Against West Indies, he went on to score a 56-ball 98 that was assisted by a substandard fielding performance from the Windies. He was first dropped by Andre Fletcher and just three balls later, Jayawardene survived another scare. 

Jayawardene’s top-edge off a Sulieman Benn delivery went high in the air only for Fletcher and Wavell Hinds - both of whom were going for the catch - to watch each other as the ball landed safely.

A century missed

Jayawardene was cruising to his second century of the tournament as he needed just three runs off the final six balls to reach the milestone. The former captain, however, fell short of a ton despite remaining unbeaten but thanks to his and Sangakkara’s efforts, Sri Lanka posted 195/3 on board.

And while Jayawardene was going at a strike rate of 175, Sangakkara took a more traditional approach. During his 49-ball 68, the wicket-keeper hit five boundaries and three sixes before being dismissed by Dwayne Bravo towards the end of the 19th over.

Sublime bowling effort to cap off a complete performance

Sri Lanka started the second innings on a high, dismissing Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the second over. West Indies’ middle-order soon crumbled like a house of cards as the Sri Lankan bowlers hardly broke a sweat. The likes of Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis picked three wickets each and none of the six Lankan bowlers on the day exceeded an economy of 7.00.

By the end of the second innings, West Indies could only score 138/8 as Sri Lanka won the match by 57 runs.

Highest partnerships in T20 World Cup

Partners Team Opposition Runs Years
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka West Indies 166 2010
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam Pakistan India 152* 2021
Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan England Sri Lanka 152 2014
Chris Gayle and Devon Smith West Indies South Africa 145 2007
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene Sri Lanka England 145 2014

Featured photo: AFP / Indranil Mukherjee