Top 5 Highest Opening Partnerships In the history of the T20 World Cup: T20 cricket is the most watched format of cricket among cricket fans. Cricket fans enjoy watching the players hit the bowlers for fours and sixes with orthodox or unorthodox innovational shots. And when it comes to T20 World Cup, every player wants to give his all to help his team win the match. Be it chasing or setting goals, a good partnership can take the pressure off the batting team.

In this short format, the biggest opportunity for the batting team is to score as many runs as possible on the power play. Because if a team gets off to a good start, half the work is already done. Openers utilize and maximize the powerplay without losing any, what could be better than this? So, in this article, we will discuss the top ten highest-opening partnerships in the history of the T20 World Cup.

Highest Opening Partnerships In the history of the T20 World Cup

  • Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan – 152* runs (2021)
Partnership  of Babar and Rizwan vs India
Babar Azam and Rizwan (AP Photos)

The most-watched cricket match of the year, the highest and most recent partnerships took place in the last T20 World Cup in the UAE. It was a game between two arch rivals, India and Pakistan, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Babar Azam won the toss and asked India to bat first. And what a great start by Shaheen Afridi with the new ball in hand. He took crucial wickets on top of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Suryakumar Yadav could not do much in his debut match of the T20 World Cup.

Somehow a small partnership between skipper Virat and Rishabh helped the team score 151 runs. Chasing the target of 152 runs, Pakistan’s start was excellent and both the openers started playing their shots and hit the boundary. Both the openers scored their respective fifties and chased down the target in 17.5 overs without losing any wickets. Babar remained unbeaten on 68 and Rizwan on 79. With this win, Pakistan also ended India’s winning streak in World Cup events.

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  • Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith- 145 runs (2007)
West Indies Partnership
Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith (Twitter)

In the first match of Group A in the inaugural season of the T20I World Cup in South Africa, West Indies faced South Africa in Johannesburg. Graeme Smith winning the toss chose to field first. Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith opened the innings for West Indies. And it was carnage right off the bat of the Universe Boss. Gayle started hitting the South African bowlers in all parts of the field.

Both the batsmen completed their team’s century in just 9.4 overs. However, Dwayne Smith was dismissed by debutant Vernon Philander after scoring 35 runs. Before being dismissed, both the openers had added 145 runs for the first wicket in just 13.3 overs. The almighty Universe Boss scored a century for the first time in the T20I World Cup in the very first game. Gayle finished his innings on 117 off 57 balls (7- 4s and 10-6s) and West Indies were 205/6.

Herschelle Gibbs’ 90 not out and Justin Kemp’s 46* helped the hosts chase down the target with 14 balls to spare and with eight wickets in hand.

  • Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt- 142 runs (2010)
Pakistan Partnership
Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt (Twitter)

Pakistan vs Bangladesh at Beaujour Stadium, St Lucia. Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi wins the toss and decides to bat first. For Pakistan, both the openers, Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal, were in good form and both the openers started attacking the Bangladeshi bowlers right from the start of the innings. None of the bowlers looked effective against them and both the openers scored their respective half centuries with teams 100 at 11.4 overs.

The partnership ended for 142 runs in 15.5 overs when Kamran Akmal was dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan. Interestingly, both the openers were dismissed for 73 runs. Akmal scored 73 off 55 and Butt scored 73 runs in 46. Pakistan gave a target of 173 runs to Bangladesh. In the end, Bangladesh could make it through and lost by 21 runs.

  • Gautam Gambhir and Virendra Sehwag- 136 runs (2007)
Gautam and Sehwag Partnership
Gautam Gambhir and Virendra Sehwag (Twitter)

This Super 8 stage match of ICC T20 World Cup 2007 between India and England is remembered for Yuvraj Singh’s tremendous sixes. The middle-order batsman had left Stuart Broad without mercy as Yuvraj scripted history as he hit six consecutive sixes (off six balls) in Broad’s single over. However, in this match, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, the ‘Jay-Veeru’ of team India also contributed equally and gave the team a target of 219 runs.

Gambhir scored 58 runs in 41 balls and scored 136 runs in partnership with his opening partner Virender Sehwag, who scored 68 runs in 52 runs. India won that match by 18 runs.

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  • Chris Gayle and Andre Fletcher- 133 (2009)
West Indies
Chris Gayle and Andre Fletcher (Twitter)

Universe Boss is on the list again but this time starting with Andre Fletcher. West Indies vs Australia. In the third match of Group C at The Oval where the opening pair stunned each Australian bowler, scoring 133 runs in 11.3 overs with a strike rate of 192.7. Australia batting first lost some early wickets and West Indies bowlers did not allow Australian batsmen to make any partnership throughout the inning.

The partnership between Gayle and Fletcher came to end with the wicket of Fletcher playing at 53 of 32 balls. Gayle scored 88 off 50. WI won the match by 7 Wickets.

Opening partnerships are the key aspect of this shortest format of cricket. Having wickets in hand, the players can go through the attacking shorts and attacking template. Let’s check out the top 10 1st wicket partnerships in T20 World Cup.

Top 10 Highest 1st Wicket Partnership in T20 World Cup:

Mohammad Rizwan – Babar Azam (PAK)152*IndiaDubai2021
Chris Gayle – Dwayne Smith (WI)145South AfricaJohannesburg2007
Kamran Akmal – Salman Butt (PAK)142BangladeshGros Islet2010
Gautam Gambhir – Virender Sehwag (IND)136EnglandDurban2007
Chris Gayle – Andre Fletcher (WI)133AustraliaThe Oval2009
Shane Watson – David Warner (AUS)133IndiaColombo2012
Aqib Ilyas – Jatinder Singh (Oman)131*PNGAl Amerat2021
Tillakaratne Dilshan – Sanath Jayasuriya (SL)124West IndiesNottingham2009
Mohammad Hafeez – Imran Nazir (PAK)124BangladeshPallekele2012
Adam Gilchrist – Matthew Hayden (AUS)104BangladeshCape Town2007

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