With the ICC World T20 just around the corner, we relive some of the greatest batting performances in the showpiece event of the shortest format of cricket. Right from its inception in 2007, the World T20 has witnessed some of the finest batting knocks in the T20 format. Whether its Yuvraj Singh’s demolition of Stuart Broad at Durban or Michael Hussey smashing Saeed Ajmal all over the park, these superlative performances have enthralled cricket fans around the globe.
We take a look at the Top 5 batting performances in World T20, and there’s no prizes for guessing who is at the very top.
1. Yuvraj Singh (58 off 16 balls against England)
It was a match that turned Stuart Broad into an overnight superstar, but for all the wrong reasons. India were well placed at 171 for 3 after 18 overs with Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the crease – with Yuvraj batting on 14 off 6 balls. Stuart Broad was introduced into the attack, and the rest was history. Sheer carnage happened as Yuvraj smased 6 sixes in 6 balls en route to a 12-ball half century. It was batting of the highest calibre as the Southpaw hammered the England fast bowler to all corners of the Kingsmead cricket ground. Sheer class!
2. Chris Gayle (117 off 57 balls against South Africa)
No suprise that Chris Gayle finds himself among the Top 5 batting performances in World T20 list. The hard-hitting Jamaican brought the inaugral T20 World Cup in South Africa to a blazing start as he smashed a 57-ball 117 to guide the West Indies to a massive 205 for 6. It was a display of power and strokeplay as the RCB opener brought up his century in just 50 deliveries, smashing the likes of Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Vernon Philander and Albie Morkel with equal disdain. But, despite his big-hitting heroics, South Africa won the match by eight wickets, thanks to Herschelle Gibbs scoring an unbeaten 90 off 55.
3. Brendon McCullum (123 off 58 balls against Bangladesh)
Laced with 11 fours and 7 sixes, Brendon McCullum’s 123 off 58 balls against Bangladesh is the highest ever individual score in T20 international cricket. Playing at Pallekele in the 2012 edition of the World T20, McCullum attacked the Bangladesh bowling attack from the very start, producing a scintillating display of shot making in a fine 123. New Zealand posted a mammoth 191 for 3, and beat Bangladesh by 59 runs, thanks to good bowling performances from Kyle Mills and Tim Southee who picked up three wickets each.
4. Michael Hussey (60 n.o. off 24 balls against Pakistan)
Pakistan did a commendable job with the bat posting 191 for 3 in the World T20 semifinal 2010 at Gros Islet, and the bowlers looked equally in form picking up Aussie wickets at regular intervals to reduce Michael Clarke’s side for 144 for 7 in 17.1 overs. The stage was set for a Michael Hussey special, as Mr. Cricket, as he is commonly called in the cricket world, produced a blistering knock to take the match into the final over.
With in-form bowler Saeed Ajmal bowling the final over, the odds were in favor of Pakistan. But odds and statistics and form goes out of the window when greats like Michael Hussey produce such sheer genius. 6, 6, 4, 6 in the next four deliveries took Australia to the final and stunned Pakistan.
5. Alex Hales (116 n.o. off 64 balls against Sri Lanka)
With England reeling at 0 for 2, Alex Hales justified the hype surrounding his ability with the bat with a sensational century in just 60 balls, striking 11 boundaries and 6 maximums. Playing on a slow wicket at Chittagong against a strong Sri Lankan bowling unit, Hales showed great nerve and character to build a huge 152-run partnership with Eoin Morgan for the third wicket. The soft-spoken Nottinghamshire opener’s 116 off 64 balls was England’s first century in the format, and appropriately he was the man to crack the last ball of the match into the stands at midwicket to seal a dramatic run chase for England.