Best partnership for any wicket in T20I: Partnerships between batsmen is the backbone for the innings build-up in cricket. A good partnership ensures that the team puts up a good defendable total, batting first or to chase the target, batting second.
The advantage is all the more if good partnerships are stitched by the top order batsmen which goes in to make the batting look easy for lower order batsmen who can take more risks and pile up the runs.
The best partnership for any wicket in a T20 International game was witnessed in the second match of the three-match series between New Zealand and Pakistan, played on 17th January, 2016, at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
Electing to bat on winning the toss, Shahid Afridi-led Pakistan managed to score 168 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Losing wickets at regular intervals, Umar Akmal established two useful partnerships.
With Shoaib Malik (39) he had put up a partnership of 63 runs in 5.40 overs for the fourth wicket and another one of 24-runs in 1.3 overs with Imad Wasim (8) for the sixth wicket.
Akmal remained unbeaten on a well made 56 runs off just 27 deliveries with 4 fours and 4 sixes at a massive 207.40 strike rate.
Mitchell McClenaghan was the most successful New Zealand bowler. Having sent down 25 deliveries (including a ‘wide ball’), 13 of them being ‘dots’, he claimed 2 wickets giving away 23 runs.
Requiring 169 runs for a win, the Kiwi openers, Martin Guptill and skipper Kane Williamson were on a run-spree, scoring at will, against all the Pakistan bowlers.
None of the bowlers could contain the batsmen and all of them went for more than 7.50 runs an over. Wahab Riaz, giving away 10 runs an over and Mohammad Amir, giving away 11.33 runs an over were the most expensive ones.
The batsmen duo put up 100 runs partnership in just 72 deliveries, with Guptill contributing 44 runs, Williamson 49 runs and the balance being by extras.
Williamson reached his half century in just 35 deliveries while Guptill consumed 40 deliveries for the same.
The 150-run partnership came in 97 deliveries in which Guptill had shared 75 runs while Williamson added 70 runs and the balance being by way of extras.
The hosts reached the target by scoring 171 runs without losing any wicket in just 17.4 overs. Guptill remained unbeaten on 87 runs off 58 deliveries with 9 fours and 4 sixes while Williamson remained unbeaten on 72 runs off 48 deliveries with 11 fours.
In the process Guptill became the second leading scorer (1,624 runs) in the history of T20 International, going past Sri Lankan’s Tilakratne Dilshan (1,618 runs).
The unbeaten first wicket partnership of 171* runs off 17.4 overs is the best for any wicket in T20 internationals, bettering the 170 runs off 13.1 overs between the then South African skipper, Graeme Smith (88) and Lunguile Bosman (94) established in the second match of the two-match series against England played on 15th November, 2009, at Supersport Park Centurion.
New Zealand won the match by 10 wickets with 14 deliveries to spare.
For their wonderful efforts with the bat, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson shared the Player of the Match award.