Cricket, particularly shorter formats like Twenty20 or T20, is a batsman’s game.
Despite each team getting only 120 balls in an innings during a T20 cricket match, batters have managed to pile up mind-blowing individual scores.
The record for the highest T20 score by a batsman belongs to Chris Gayle.
Nicknamed the Universe Boss, West Indian Chris Gayle’s hard-hitting prowess was truly on display during his unbeaten 175 off just 66 balls while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against now-defunct Pune Warriors in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013.
In the match, Chis Gayle reached his 100 in just 30 deliveries to record the fastest T20 century on record. Chris Gayle’s 175 against Pune Warriors, powered by 13 fours and 17 sixes, is also the highest individual IPL score in an innings.
“I was in that flow, that rhythm,” Chris Gayle recalled. “Sometimes as a batsman, you know that you cannot do anything wrong and that was one of the days.
“It was remarkable and so funny that I ended up with 175 and I was saying it should be the team total. I could have got 200 if ABD (AB de Villiers) didn’t come in and steal the show as well,” Gayle added.
AB de Villiers, Gayle’s team-mate in that RCB team, hit 31 off just eight balls in the death overs.
After Gayle, it took five more years for any batsman to cross the 170-run mark in T20 cricket.
Highest individual score in T20 International cricket
Australia’s Aaron Finch scored 172 in 76 deliveries against Zimbabwe in a tri-series in 2018 to register the highest individual score in T20 Internationals (T20I) and the second-highest score in T20 cricket.
Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch and former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum are the only three players in T20 history with multiple 150+ scores.
Zimbabwe batsman Hamilton Masakadza and Afghanistan ace Hazratullah Zazai share the third spot in the list with unbeaten 162s. While Masakadza hit his ton in 2016 while playing for Mashonaland Eagles against Mountaineers in a domestic T20 competition, Zazai’s knock came in a T20I against Ireland in 2019.
The highest individual score by an Indian in T20 cricket was by Shreyas Iyer, who scored 147 for Mumbai in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 match against Sikkim. Virat Kohli’s 122 against Afghanistan in 2022 is the highest T20 score by an Indian batsman in T20Is.
Highest individual T20 score in women’s cricket
Australian opener Alyssa Healy – niece of former Australian men’s team wicketkeeper Ian Healy – holds the record for the highest individual score in women’s T20 cricket, courtesy an unbeaten 148 runs in 61 balls against Sri Lanka in 2019.
Harmanpreet Kaur holds the record for the highest individual T20 score for the Indian women’s cricket team with 103 not out against New Zealand in 2018. She faced 51 balls in her innings, striking seven 4s and eight 6s on the way. She is India’s only centurion in T20I cricket.
Highest individual T20 score in Asian Games cricket
In Asian Games cricket, Pakistani batsman Khalid Latif’s 103 not out against hosts China at Guangzhou 2010 is the highest T20 score recorded in the men’s competition. In women’s cricket, Japanese player Ema Kuribayashi’s 63 against Nepal in 2010 is the highest score at the Asian Games.
The Asian Games 2022 later this year will feature both men’s and women’s T20 cricket competitions. For the Commonwealth Games 2022, India are confirmed as one of the eight teams at the women’s-only T20 event.