Australia pulled off the highest chase in Twenty20 International history when they scored 245/5 in reply to New Zealand’s 243/6 at Eden Park in Auckland in the fifth match of the Trans-Tasman T20I Tri-Series on 18 February.
Batting first, the Black Caps were propelled by a brilliant 105 in 54 balls by Martin Guptill. It was New Zealand's joint-highest T20I score but still proved to be not quite enough, as Australia chased the total down with seven balls to spare. David Warner and D’Arcy Short scored a 24-ball 59 and a 44-ball 76 respectively at the top of the order to set the platform, and Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch then blitzed away to provide the finishing touches.
The two teams will now face off in the final of the tournament on Wednesday 21 February at the same venue, and another big-scoring encounter is very much on the cards with both teams packed with heavy hitters.
Ahead of that mouth-watering clash, here’s a look at the top-five team totals in T20I history:
Australia 263/3 vs Sri Lanka, Pallekele, 6 September 2016
Glenn Maxwell's unbeaten 145, the second-highest individual T20I score to date, took Australia to 263/3. The all-rounder faced only 65 balls and hit 14 fours and nine sixes to finish with a strike rate of 223. In reply, Sri Lanka lost wickets from the start of their innings and were restricted to 178/9, with Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland picking up three wickets apiece.
Sri Lanka 260/6 vs Kenya, Johannesburg, 14 September 2007
Sri Lanka's 260/6, which they scored during the ICC World Twenty20 2007, stood as the highest team total for nine years. Sanath Jayasuriya was the architect with his 44-ball 88, studded with 11 fours and four sixes. Mahela Jayawardena gave good support with his 27-ball 65, while Jehan Mubarak scored a brisk 46 runs off just 13 balls, a knock that included five sixes. Kenya could not pose a serious challenge as they were bundled out for 88 in 19.3 overs.
Sri Lanka won the match by 172 runs, which remains the biggest victory/defeat margin in T20I cricket.
India 260/5 vs Sri Lanka, Indore, 22 December 2017
Just over a decade after having a party against Kenya, Sri Lanka were on the receiving end when India registered their highest T20I total. After being asked to bat, India's openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul put on 165 runs for the first wicket in just 12.5 overs to set the tone for the innings. Rohit finished on 118 off 43 balls with 10 fours and 12 sixes – the highest individual T20I score by an Indian. Sri Lanka could only score 172 before being bowled out in 17.2 overs as Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav shared seven wickets between them.
Australia 248/6 vs England, Southampton, 29 August 2013
In the aftermath of the 3-0 Ashes defeat in 2013, Australia began their limited-overs leg of the tour on a high by registering their then-highest team total in T20I cricket. Aaron Finch's 156, the highest individual T20I score to date, led Australia by hitting 11 fours and 14 sixes in an innings that lasted for just 70 minutes and 63 balls. England posted a strong reply despite being 42/4 at one stage but finished 40 runs short.
Australia 245/5 vs New Zealand, Auckland, 16 February 2018
Short and Warner put together 121 runs in 8.3 overs to set Australia on course for the record chase. It was finished off by brisk cameos from Maxwell (31 in 14 balls) and Finch (36 not out in 14 balls) as Australia made the 244-run chase look like a stroll in the park.
Top five successful chases in T20I cricket
There have been 10 instances of 200-plus targets being successfully overhauled in T20Is. Here are the top five.
|Australia 245/5||New Zealand 243/6||Auckland||16 February 2018|
|Windies 236/6||South Africa 231/7||Johannesburg||11 January 2015|
|England 230/8||South Africa 229/7||Mumbai||18 March 2016|
|India 211/4||Sri Lanka 209/6||Mohali||12 December 2009|
|South Africa 208/2||Windies 205/6||Johannesburg||11 September 2007|
Top five match aggregates in T20I cricket
A match aggregate of 400 or more has been achieved 19 times in T20I cricket, with five matches going beyond 450.
|Aggregate||Team 1||Team 2||Venue||Date|
|489||Windies 245/6||India 244/4||Lauderhill||27 August 2016|
|488||New Zealand 243/6||Australia 245/5||Auckland||16 February 2018|
|467||Windies 205/6||South Africa 208/2||Johannesburg||11 September 2007|
|459||South Africa 229/4||England 230/8||Mumbai||18 March 2016|
|457||Australia 248/6||England 209/6||Southampton||29 August 2013|
Captains on the Eden Park boundaries
David Warner: "You saw the other day both sides had luck with their batters – inside edges for four, little nicks that were just missing first slip going for four and almost six. There was nothing you could do. We tried to execute our yorkers, we did, they still went for four. A short-pitched ball went for six off a top edge. Those sorts of things, you've just got to stand there and laugh and smile, because it's challenging when you're at these small venues. I don't think it's how poorly the bowlers bowled at all, it's just that the batters got some luck, with the inside edges, and the boys were hitting the ball clean. You've just got to find a way to get one or two wickets in the first six, it's as simple as that. As a captain or as a bowler, we talk about setting fields, and I think you have to have obscure fields – you might have a deep fly slip instead of a third man. They're bizarre little catching spots where you might get a catch."
Kane Williamson: "We've had some of the most fantastic games of cricket there. This last game's been the first time really that we've seen it exposed as a really small ground because a lot of the scores have been on the lower side. For one reason or another, we've seen so many really close games, which has created some of the best atmospheres that I've been involved in any cricket game in the world. It's provided some amazing moments for New Zealand cricket and the teams that we've been involved in, and when you throw that into the mix, it does make it enjoyable."