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Jos Buttler and Alex Hales made a chase of 169 look like a walk in the park to beat India in the semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 on Thursday.
Buttler finished with 80* from 49 balls, with Hales ending the game on 86* from 47. And the combined 170/0 saw records tumble.
The England pair’s partnership passed the previous highest opening stand at a Men’s T20 World Cup, 152 between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, also made against India, in 2021.
And the winning runs took the English duo to an even bigger record. Their combined 170 is now the highest partnership for any wicket at any ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
The record of 166 between Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara had stood for 12 years before Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw of South Africa surpassed it by two runs against Bangladesh earlier in this tournament.
But De Kock and Rossouw’s stay at the top lasted just two weeks.
England captain Buttler says that it was the strength of England’s batting line-up, as well as the aggressive approach of his opening partner, that gave him so much confidence out in the middle.
“We always want to start as fast as we can and aggressive. Adil Rashid was down at No. 11 today, and that gives us the freedom to come out aggressive, that depth.
“Hales was tough to bowl at today, he used the dimensions of the ground, and we complement each other perfectly. He was a brilliant partner today.”
Buttler and Hales’ partnership doesn't come close to troubling the all-time record stand in a Men’s T20I, although it would have been impossible for them to do so given the match scenario, with the record being 236 between Hazratullah Zazai and Usman Ghani for Afghanistan against Ireland in 2019.
But the openers are now up to second in the all-time list of English partnerships in a Men’s T20I. Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan’s 182 against New Zealand in Napier in 2019 remains out in front.
Top 5 T20 World Cup partnerships
Jos Buttler and Alex Hales, England v India, 2022 – 170*
Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw, South Africa v Bangladesh, 2022 – 168
Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka v West Indies, 2010 – 166
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, Pakistan v India, 2021 – 152*
Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan, England v Sri Lanka, 2014 – 152