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Against all odds: the greatest run chases in T20 international history

The T20 World Cup reached its conclusion with England emerging victorious in a thrilling final against Pakistan despite a relatively low run chase. Here is a look at some of the most unbelievable totals successfully overcome in the history of the sport.

Australia 245/5 (vs New Zealand, 16 February 2018)

When New Zealand set a total of 243/6, few could have expected the second innings to turn out as it did. The Kiwi’s opening batsmen proved a formidable force, with Martin Guptill hitting 105 (54) and Colin Munro reaching an equally commendable 76 (33) before both were eventually caught off an Andrew Tye delivery. The final 62 runs were spread between six of the middle order, as Australia had a mountain to climb.

However, as fans who partake in cricket betting are aware, anything can happen in T20 internationals. The Aussies did take that to the extreme with their response, though, which got off to a flyer with their openers David Warner and D’Arcy Short, who totalled 59 (24) and 76 (44), respectively. A 31 (14) from Glenn Maxwell and 36* (14) from Aaron Finch helped the Baggy Greens on their way, the latter of whom combined with Alex Carey to secure a memorable run chase with seven balls to spare.

West Indies 236/6 (vs South Africa, 11 January 2015)

Australia’s historic win over their local rivals surpassed a record previously held some three years earlier in Johannesburg, as the West Indies came back to shock the hosts. South Africa’s openers may have faltered early on, but a staggering 119 off 56 balls from skipper Faf du Plessis followed by a 47 (26) for David Miller put the Proteas in the driving seat, with the lower order and 11 extras amounting to a total posted of 231/7.

The West Indies were determined, however, despite the experienced Dwayne Smith being bowled lbw from Marchant de Lange after just nine deliveries. Enter star man Chris Gayle, who secured an outstanding 90 from just 41 and struck an impressive partnership with Marlon Samuels, who himself finished with 60 from 39. With 58 to chase, it was left to the lower order to secure the win, with Denesh Ramdin and captain Daren Sammy the last two batsmen remaining, who clinched victory with four balls remaining.

England 230/8 (vs South Africa, 18 March 2016)

While England’s most recent run chase against Pakistan was far from the highest, they were on fine form in Mumbai back in 2016. Again, South Africa found themselves on the wrong side of a record score line, this time defending a 229/4 lead. Half-centuries from Hashim Amla (58), Quinton de Kock (52) and Jean-Paul Duminy (54*) appeared to put the Proteas in control, but Joe Root and co. had other ideas.

An unsurprisingly low score from an England opener in Alex Hales (17) preceded a commendable 43 (16) from Jason Roy. 2022 hero Ben Stokes could only manage 19 (9), although this allowed star man Joe Root to come to the rescue. The now 31-year-old hit 83 off just 44 balls before being caught off a wicked Kagiso Rabada delivery, leaving England with 46 to chase. The comeback was complete courtesy of Moeen Ali’s 8* (10), as England celebrated keeping their campaign alive.

With England emerging as recent victors, avid cricket fans will already be looking towards the 2023 edition of the tournament in India, where there will be the opportunity for even more crazy run chases.

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