Scoring big and recording mammoth totals in no time in cricket’s Twenty20 or T20 format has become a common occurrence. 

Since batters are expected to go hell for leather from the first ball itself, big totals in T20s are very achievable as the side batting first looks to set a daunting target for the team batting second to chase.

Chasing huge targets isn’t something teams look forward to as they have to deal with the scoreboard pressure besides also contending with the opposition bowlers straight from the start.

That said, there have been quite a few instances of teams embracing the challenge of a huge chase, which they successfully completed.

In Twenty20 internationals, South Africa men’s cricket team holds the record for the highest run chase in T20 internationals.

The Proteas recorded the highest successful run chase in T20Is against West Indies in March 2023 at SuperSport Park in South Africa.

As far as India is concerned, their highest run chase in T20 internationals came against Sri Lanka in 2009.

After Sri Lanka had posted 206/7 in the first innings, India responded in solid fashion with Virender Sehwag making 64 off 36 balls and MS Dhoni scoring 46 in 28 deliveries.

However, it was Yuvraj Singh who grabbed the limelight and guided the Men in Blue home with a 25-ball 60 that helped India to 211/4 to win the match.

Highest run chase in T20 internationals

Team Opposition Score Date
South Africa West Indies 259/4 March 26, 2023
Bulgaria Serbia 246/4 June 26, 2022
Australia New Zealand 245/5 February 16, 2018
West Indies South Africa 236/6 January 11, 2015
England  South Africa 230/8 March 18, 2016
Bulgaria Serbia 229/4 June 24, 2022
England  South Africa 226/5 February 16. 2020
Bangladesh Sri Lanka 215/5 March 10, 2018
South Africa India 212/3 June 9, 2022
Australia India 211/6 September 20, 2022

South Africa’s 259/4 against West Indies

After Johnson Charles’ 46-ball 118 had helped West Indies post 258/5 on the scoreboard, South Africa responded with some brutal hitting of their own. Quinton de Kock produced a blitzkrieg knock of 100 in 44 balls - his maiden T20I century - while his opening partner made 68 off 28 balls. Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen got the Proteas over the finish line and the match included 35 sixes - the most in a T20 international - and a record 517 runs were scored in the contest over the two innings.

Bulgaria’s 246/4 against Serbia

European minnows Bulgaria hold the record for scoring the highest run chase in T20 internationals. They did so in the fourth game of the 2022 Sofia Twenty20 tournament after Serbia had posted 242/4 in the first innings thanks to a 50-ball 117 by Leslie Dunbar and an Alexander Dizija fifty. In reply, Bulgaria made 246/4 in 19.4 overs courtesy of useful contributions from their openers and fifties by Saim Hussain and Kevin D’Souza. 

Australia’s 245/5 against New Zealand

Cricketing powerhouse Australia is third on the list for the highest run chase in T20 internationals. In the fifth game of the 2018 Trans-Tasman Twenty20 Tri-Series, New Zealand powered by Martin Guptill’s 54-ball 105 went on to post 243/6 in the first innings. Australia chased down the target by scoring 245/5 in 18.5 overs. D’Arcy Short top-scored for the Aussies with 76 off 44 balls, while David Warner made 59 from 24 balls.


Photo Credit: Alamy