In cricket, irrespective of the format, successful partnerships can often become the difference between winning and losing teams.
Batters weaving together long and fruitful partnerships helps mount pressure on the fielding side while keeping the scoreboard ticking. They become important especially when a side is chasing a target.
Talking about T20s, the shortest format of the game, there have been numerous instances where two players have stitched together a memorable partnership that took the cricketing world by storm.
On September 22, 2022, during the second match of the seven-match T20I series between Pakistan and England, Pakistan were set a daunting target of 200 runs thanks to an all-round batting display by the visitors.
Nowadays, no target in a Twenty20 match can be considered safe for the defending team! And that’s exactly what happened with England in that clash.
Pakistan openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan came out all guns blazing and put together an unbeaten 203-run partnership to chase down the target without losing a single wicket. Babar Azam scored a scintillating century in the match.
The knock, interestingly, saw the Pakistani pair better their own all-time record of highest partnerships while chasing in T20s.
The old record, a 197, saw Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan decimate South Africa in 2021.
Chasing a challenging 204, the pair took the Proteas’ bowlers to the cleaners and helped Pakistan across the finish line with two overs to spare. Babar Azam scored a ton in that encounter as well before falling to Lizaad Williams.
The next pair in the list of highest partnerships while chasing in T20s is Aaron Finch and Jason Roy. The two put together a 194-run opening wicket stand while playing for Surrey during the Vitality Blast 2018 season.
In a South group match against Middlesex, Surrey were set a massive target of 222 runs. Aaron Finch and Jason Roy began smashing Middlesex bowlers right from the start, each striking at 200+. Their contributions helped Surrey reach the target in just 16 overs.
Naman Ojha and David Warner is the next pair in the list, courtesy their unbeaten 189-run stand in the Indian T20 League 2012 campaign. It’s also the highest partnership in the Indian T20 League.
In the match-up between Delhi and Hyderabad franchises, Naman Ojha and David Warner, playing for the former, helped their side chase down 188 in 16.4 overs. After Virender Sehwag got out cheaply, the duo stitched together a memorable partnership to win it for their team.
Otago’s Neil Broom and Brendon McCullum complete the top five in the leaderboard.
In a match between Otago and Northern Districts during Super Smash 2012, Otago hunted down 188 in 17.2 overs courtesy Neil Broom and the New Zealand legend’s amazing partnership of as many runs.
Highest partnerships while chasing in T20s
|Players||Team||Opponent||Tournament/Series||Partnership||Venue and Year|
|Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan||Pakistan||England||England Tour of Pakistan||203*||Karachi, 2022|
|Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan||Pakistan||South Africa||Pakistan Tour of South Africa||197||Centurion, 2021|
|Aaron Finch and Jason Roy||Surrey||Middlesex||Vitality Blast||194||The Oval, 2018|
|Naman Ojha and David Warner||Delhi||Hyderabad||Indian T20 League||189*||Hyderabad, 2012|
|Neil Broom and Brendon McCullum||Otago||Northern Districts||Super Smash||188*||Hamilton, 2012|
Featured photo: Asif HASSAN / AFP