Shorter boundaries, bigger and better bats, records being broken almost at will have driven this format, which has attracted many new fans, thanks to the instant cricket formula which appeals to many.
Scores that were once difficult for teams to register even in the 50-over format are scored in less than half the time in T20Is.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the five highest T20 team totals in the history of the format:
Afghanistan – 278/3 vs Ireland (Feb 2019)
The second T20 International of the three match-series between Afghanistan and Ireland on February 23, 2019 saw a slew of record breaking performances as Hazratullah Zazai just lit up the stadium in Dehradun with his mind-boggling batting performance. Riding on the blitzkrieg from Zazai, Afghanistan recorded the highest-ever total of 278 for 3 in T20Is. The world witnessed a magical unbeaten knock of 162 from Zazai as he, along with other batsmen tore apart the Ireland bowling attack. A world record total, most number of individual sixes in a T20I (Zazai – 16), highest partnership for any wicket in a T20I (Zazai and Usman Ghani – 236) were a few notable milestones reached in that match. Zazai in that match became the second highest run-scorer — falling just 10 short of record held by Australia’a Aaron Finch of 172. Although Ireland managed only 194/6 and lost by 83 runs, the match went into the record books as the match with the third-highest runs scored combined — 472 — in a T20I.
Czech Republic 278/4 vs Turkey (Aug 2019)
With ICC unveiling their new T20 team rankings in 2019, featuring as many as 80 active nations in T20I cricket in 2019, the list of highest T20I totals has two countries which are not really known for their cricket. But on August 30, 2019, their clash entered the record books. The two teams had extremely contrasting fortunes in the match. Czech Republic went on a record-breaking spree, as their batsmen came out all guns blazing against Turkey during a Continental Cup at Ilfov County. An onslaught from Sudesh Wickramasekara, who cracked a 36-ball 104*, along with Sumit Pokhriyal (79 off 52 balls) guided Czech Republic to a daunting 278/4. Turkey, on the other hand tumbled like a pack of cards, being bundled out for a mere 21 — the lowest T20I total. The match also witnessed the biggest ever win margin — 257 runs — in the shortest format of the game. Scoring at a run rate of 13.9, Czech Republic during their innings smashed 29 fours and 14 sixes. Their innings also had as many as 39 extras. Turkey’s run chase meanwhile lasted just 8.3 overs. Czech Republic has had a cricket team for nearly two decades, but this was their most significant achievement in the shortest format.
Australia 263/3 vs Sri Lanka (Sept 2016)
Glenn Maxwell, known for his destructive batting abilities, was on a whole new level against Sri Lanka in Pallekele on September 6, 2016, as the mighty all-rounder powered Australia to a towering total of 263 for 3. Maxwell, who opened the innings in that match wreaked havoc, cracking an unbeaten 145 off just 65 balls, as the Aussies began the match in top gear. The entire batting unit that day clicked, as contributions from David Warner (28), Usman Khawaja (36) and Travis Head (45) powered the visitors to a gigantic total. The Aussie batsmen, especially Maxwell, went out all guns blazing from the word go and hit the Lankan bowlers hard throughout. The Aussies had an innings run rate of 13.15. Maxwell, the star of the show hit 14 fours and 9 sixes, scoring at a strike rate of over 223. Sri Lanka managed to score 189/9 in 20 overs, eventually losing that match by 85 runs.
Sri Lanka 260/6 vs Kenya (Sept 2007)
Back in 2007, when T20 cricket was a relatively new phenomenon, Sri Lanka showed the world what batsmen were capable of doing in this format. This was only the 27th T20I that was played and was staged during the inaugural World T20. The Sri Lankan batsmen put up an absolutely amazing performance. 260 for 6 against Kenya in Johannesburg, and Sri Lanka set the shortest format of the game on fire. Sanath Jayasuriya (88 off 44) and Mahela Jayawardene (65 off 27) were the two big architects of the total which is still the highest score by a team in a T20 World Cup match. Even though the Lankans suffered minor hiccups towards the end, a cameo of 46* off just 13 balls from Jehan Mubarak served as the icing on the cake for the team. Kenya meanwhile surrendered on 88 in their run chase, handing Sri Lanka a 172-run win, which still stands as the biggest-ever victory margin recorded by an ICC full member nation.
India 260/5 vs Sri Lanka (Dec 2017)
On December 22, 2017, the Holkar Stadium in Indore witnessed absolute carnage, as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul set the park on fire against Sri Lanka with their delightful and majestic batting performances. Put into bat after losing the toss, Rohit and Rahul made Sri Lanka pay for that decision, as the duo just tore apart the Lankan bowling attack. A gigantic 165-run opening wicket stand set the platform for India with Rahul smashing a 49-ball 89 at a strike rate of 181. His knock had 5 fours and 8 sixes. Rohit meanwhile smacked 12 fours and 10 sixes to eventually finish on 118 off 43 balls, at a mind boggling strike rate of 274.41. Finishing touches from MS Dhoni (28) and Hardik Pandya (10) also delighted the fans, as India finished with a mammoth 260 for 5. Chasing a daunting total, Sri Lanka were bundled out for 172 in the 18th over, handing India a 88 run win. This was the second T20 of a 3 match series. India went on to sweep the series 3-0.