When Ahmed Shehzad cracked an unbeaten 98 off 64 balls against Zimbabwe at Harare on Saturday, he became the record-holder for the highest individual score by a Pakistani batsman, overtaking his one-day skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, who had blasted an undefeated 87 off 53 balls against Bangladesh at Karachi in April 2008. Here’s a look at the highest individual score in T20s for other top cricketing nations.
India: 101 by Suresh Raina
The left-hander is the only Indian to score a century in T20 cricket. He achieved this feat during a 2010 World T20 group match against South Africa at St. Lucia. India batted first in the game and Raina, coming in at number three, slammed 101 from 60 balls with the aid of nine fours and as many as five sixes. The knock was a high quality one since it came against an attack comprising the likes of Steyn, Morne Morkel and Kallis. Thanks to Raina’s brilliance, India reached 186 for 5 in the match batting first and, in spite of a great batting effort from South Africa, got home by 14 runs.
Sri Lanka: 104* by Tillakaratne Dilshan
Dilshan made a belligerent century in the first T20 of the series played against Australia at Pallekele in August 2011. Dilshan, who was also the captain in this game, smashed an undefeated 104 in a mere 57 balls – a knock that included 12 fours and five sixes. With his brilliance, Dilshan singlehandedly took Lanka to 198 for 3. In reply, Australia could manage on 163, and lost by 35 runs.
Australia: 98* by Ricky Ponting
The first ever T20 international was played betweenAustralia and New Zealand at Auckland in February 2005. And Ponting, was the star in the inaugural T20. Australia batted first and stumbled to 54 for 4 before their skipper rescued them with a superb 98 not out off 55 balls, with eight fours and five sixes. Ponting’s innings took Australia past 200. In reply, New Zealand were bowled out for 170, and lost by 44 runs.
New Zealand: 123 by Brendon McCullum
McCullumblasted 123 from 58 balls during a 2012 World T20 group clash against Bangladesh at Pallekele in September 2012. This is also the highest ever individual score in T20s. McCullum’s knock comprised 11 fours and seven sixes as, batting first, New Zealand raced to 191 for 3. In reply, Bangladesh managed only 132 for 8, and the Kiwis were home by 59 runs.
South Africa: 117* by Richard Levi
The Proteas were chasing a challenging 174 in the game against New Zealand at Hamilton in February 2012. But, opening the innings, Levi blasted 117 from 51 balls with an amazing 13 sixes to go with his five fours, as South Africa got home with four overs to spare.
West Indies: 117 by Chris Gayle
No surprises here. In the very first World T20 match, against South Africa at Johannesburg in September 2007, Gayle smashed 117 from 57 balls with 10 sixes and seven fours, as Windies made 205 batting first. Unfortunately, Herschelle Gibbs’ unbeaten 90 from 55 balls saw the hosts home with ease.
England: 99* by Luke Wright
The big-hitting Englishman blasted 99 not out from 55 balls with eight fours and six sixes against Afghanistan at Colombo in September 2012 during the World T20. England made 196 for 5 batting first, and restricted the minnows to 80 to register a comprehensive 116-run victory.
--By A Cricket Analyst