The men’s T20 World Cup is back after a long hiatus – it has been five and a half years since Carlos Brathwaite smoked those four sixes off Ben Stokes to give the West Indies their second title. Widely considered as a hit-and-giggle jamboree when it arrived in 2007, the tournament has since completed five more editions and has gone on to become the showpiece event of the most lucrative format of the game.
Held across three venues in South Africa, the 2007 World T20 (as it was then known) was an instant success as fans lapped up the breezy three-hour skirmishes that formed into a crisp scheduling structure, especially since it was played a short while after the long-drawn World Cup in the Caribbean. An action-packed fortnight saw plenty of thrills and twists, and records that put out a marker to be surpassed in the future.
While a host of records set in 2007 have been broken in the years to follow, there remain a few that have withstood the test of time and still stand as tournament benchmarks. Here are ten T20 World Cup records, both glorious and dubious, that have stayed untouched, despite an onslaught of 151 matches in the next five editions.
Highest team total
Sri Lanka, holders of the highest Test total as well as the highest ODI total at the time, completed the trio by amassing 260/6 in their 20 overs – an overwhelming run rate of 13 an over – in their opening group game against Kenya at Johannesburg. Sanath Jayasuriya creamed 88 from 44 balls and Mahela Jayawardene 65 from 27, before Jehan Mubarak, with 46* from 13, added to the Kenyans’ misery.
Nearest attempt: 230/8 by England, replying to South Africa’s 229/4, at Mumbai in 2016
Largest margin of victory by runs
Chasing an improbable 261 in the aforementioned game against Sri Lanka, Kenya were bundled out for an abysmal 88 in 19.3 overs. Sri Lanka’s 260/6 remained the T20 international record until 2016, when they were at the receiving end of Australia’s 263/3 at Pallekele, while their landslide winning margin of 172 runs remains the highest achieved by a full member nation in a T20I.
Nearest attempt: 130 runs by South Africa against Scotland at The Oval in 2009
Highest opening partnership
The World T20 got off to a rip-roaring start under lights at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. After South Africa elected to field first, West Indian openers Chris Gayle and Devon Smith plundered 145 runs in just 13.2 overs, before the latter was dismissed for 35.
Gayle was in a ferocious mood and went on to smash 117 – the first century in T20 internationals – and took the West Indies to an imposing 205/6. However, the hosts had the last laugh, as they won, rather comfortably, by eight wickets with 14 balls to spare.
Nearest attempt: 142 between Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt against Bangladesh at Gros Islet in 2010
Highest strike rate in an innings
It is surprising that, considering a minimum of 25 runs, the three highest strike rates in an innings at the T20 World Cup were all achieved in the 2007 edition. Leading the list is West Indian Dwayne Smith, who smote 29 off just seven balls, at a strike rate of 414.28, against Bangladesh at Johannesburg.
Coming in at 131/5 in the 18th over, Smith went 1,6,6,6,4,4 before getting bowled. It was in vain though, as Bangladesh chased down the target of 165 to knock the Windies out.
Nearest attempt: 362.50 (58 in 16 balls) by India’s Yuvraj Singh against England at Durban in 2007
Indian southpaw Yuvraj Singh stunned England with a breathtaking assault in a key Super Eight encounter at Durban. Galvanised by a confrontation with Andrew Flintoff, Yuvraj took his anger out on Stuart Broad, whom he dispatched for a historic six sixes in the following over. In the process, he blitzed to a record half-century from only 12 balls and eventually fell for 58 from 16, paving the way for India’s 18-run victory.
Nearest attempt: 17 balls by Netherlands’ Stephan Myburgh against Ireland at Sylhet in 2014
Most ducks in an innings
New Zealand were all over Kenya in their opening duel at Durban. Despite having gained a reputation of being giant killers in the past decade, the Kenyans caved in against the clinical Kiwis. They slipped to a woeful 1/4 in the second over, with the top four out without scoring, after being put into bat. The duck tally increased to six later in the innings, which terminated in the 17th over with the total at 73, then a record low.
Nearest attempt: Four ducks (on six occasions)
Most extras conceded in an innings
The West Indies’ failure to defend a total of 205/6 in the opening match had a lot to do with their bowlers’ profligacy. While it is true that Herschelle Gibbs packed a punch with an unbeaten 90 to steer the chase, the giving away of 28 extras – including 23 wides – in a T20 innings was a recipe for disaster.
The worst offender was Dwayne Smith, who gifted five wides in his two overs, which went for 37. There were 45 extras in the entire match, another record that remains.
Nearest attempt: 26 by South Africa against England at Mumbai in 2016
Most runs conceded in an innings
Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya had been a wily operator for his team over the years as far as limited-overs bowling was concerned. However, he lost the plot completely in the Super Eight game against Pakistan at Johannesburg.
The left-arm spinner’s four overs were carted for 14, 12, 20 and 18 respectively as Pakistan bounced back from 33/3 to post a match-winning 189/6. As if a nightmarish return of 4-0-64-0 was not enough, Jayasuriya perished for just five in the chase.
Nearest attempt: 4-0-63-0 by Bangladesh’s Mashrafe Mortaza against Pakistan at Dhaka in 2014
The only hat-trick
While it may not be a record in the context of this article, the fact is that the only T20 World Cup hat-trick till date was taken in the 2007 edition. The honour belongs to Australian speedster Brett Lee, who achieved the feat against Bangladesh at Cape Town.
Placed at 108/3 in 16.2 overs, the Tigers were aiming at a decent finish when Lee put paid to those hopes by nailing Shakib Al Hasan (caught behind), Mashrafe Mortaza (bowled) and Alok Kapali (LBW) in successive balls.
Highest individual score in a losing cause
The list rounds off with yet another record from the opening match between South Africa and the West Indies. Chris Gayle’s barnstorming 117 off 57 balls, studded with seven fours and ten sixes, ultimately went in vain as the Proteas galloped to an eight-wicket win, much to the delight of the locals. This remains the highest score in a losing cause at the T20 World Cup.
Nearest attempt: 89 by Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene against England at Chittagong in 2014; 89* by India’s Virat Kohli against West Indies at Mumbai in 2016