Australia created an amazing T20 record by chasing down the highest score (244) in T20 cricket’s history and beat New Zealand in the ongoing T20 tri-series game at Auckland, despite of a record-breaking century by Martin Guptill. The previous cricket record for the highest run chase in T20 cricket was 236 which West Indies managed against South Africa.
Batting first, New Zealand posted a huge score of 243, courtesy of Martin Guptill’s record-breaking century. With his innings of 105 (6 fours and 9 sixes), Guptill is now the all-time leading run scorer in T20I cricket surpassing his former teammate Brendon McCullum.
Guptill was ably supported by Colin Munro’s brisk 76 (6 fours and 6 sixes) and a late dash from Ross Taylor (16 runs off 6 balls) which took the ‘Kiwis’ to a relatively safer total of 243.
Australia complete highest run chase in T20 cricket
However, New Zealand’s cushion soon went out of the window when David Warner and D’Arcy Short started their sensation counter-attack, which would lead to a successful highest run chase in T20 cricket. Warner and Short took Australia to 91/0 from the powerplay which had 7 fours and 6 sixes.
Warner got out for a 24-ball 59, while Short stayed till the 17th over to lead Australia to the record chase in T20 Cricket’s history. New Zealand’s opening wicket stand was 132 which seemed to have won the game for them but Aussies replied with equal force and lost their first wicket for the score of 121.
The Kiwi bowling attack was helpless as Warner-Short partnership hit them to all the corners of Auckland’s short ground. Only Ish Sodhi had a respectful economy rate in the match and picked up Warner’s wicket.
However, Australia’s run rate never slowed down as Glenn Maxwell continued the onslaught with a 14-ball innings of 31 runs. Australia’s batting capabilities were highlighted with the fact that Aaron Finch walked out to bat at number 5 and at no point did Australia look the second favorite while chasing the total of 244 and created the record for the biggest successful chase in T20 Cricket history.
Where did New Zealand lose the game?
When you have an opposition with a batting order of Warner, Short, Lynn, Maxwell, Finch and Stoinis sometimes you just have to put your hands up and accept that they were the far better side on the day. New Zealand grounds aren’t the most suited when it comes to defending a total against a very strong batting unit.
Australian batsmen had the license to kill from ball 1 as they had nothing to lose having already qualified for the finals of this Tri-series. However, no one hand imagined that Australia would complete the highest run chase in T20 cricket, when Warner and Short were edgy in first 2 overs. Turning around the chase, the duo found their knick as the overs went along and set up the perfect launchpad for the likes of Finch and Maxwell to finish the job.
Two aspects which the home side would like to revisit would be their less than inspiring finish to the innings as they could not carry the momentum, when Guptill got out. Another was to drop Mitchell Santner for this game as his replacement Ben Wheeler conceded 64 runs from 3.1 overs and was removed from the bowling attack having bowled 2 waist-height no balls in the innings.
Successful highest run chase in T20I Cricket:
Australia – 244/4 vs New Zealand (Auckland, 2018)
West India – 236/6 vs Australia (Johannesburg, 2015)
England – 230/8 vs South Africa (Mumbai, 2016)
India – 211/4 vs Sri Lanka (Mohali, 2009)
South Africa – 208/2 vs West Indies (Johannesburg, 2007)