Ever since its inception in 2004, T20 cricket has been seen as cricket's answer to fast sports like football.
Although there seems to be enough backing from the supporters for all three formats of the game, Test cricket has gradually lost its sheen while the shortest form of the game has massively gained in popularity.
The T20 game manages to keep the supporters on their feet - be it Yuvraj Singh's six sixes against England or Brendon McCullum's swashbuckling 158* in the IPL opener in 2008. The shortest format of the game has never failed to live up to expectations.
T20 batting is not about mindless slogging throughout the game. It is about maintaining a strategic gameplan that evolves with the match situation, knowing which bowlers to attack and which parts of the ground to target. Street smartness is key to getting big scores in T20 games.
On that note, let us have a look at ten of the highest individual scores posted in a T20 game.
10. Graham Napier 152* vs Sussex
24 June, 2008: Graham Napier's breathtaking assault against Sussex in the Southern Division Twenty20 Cup was outrageous. The Essex all-rounder smashed an incredible unbeaten 152 off 58 balls, pummeling 16 sixes and ten boundaries along the way.
Striking at 262.06, Napier broke into the top three list for most sixes in a T20 innings.
9. Luke Wright 153* vs Essex
25 July, 2014: Another Englishman rode his way into the history books.
In a 2014 South Division game, an innings of 75 from Jesse Ryder and an unbeaten hundred from Tom Westley helped Sussex post an imposing 225 runs on the board.
In reply, Sussex were off to a disastrous start, losing Chris Nash to an early duck while Craig Cachopa and Harry Finch also did not contribute much.
However, Luke Wright's explosive 66 ball-153 propelled the chasing side to victory with nine balls to spare. The former England international smashes 12 fours and 11 sixes as he pummelled the Sussex attack into submission.
8. Aaron Finch 156 vs England
29 August 2013: During a T20 game between Australia and England in Southampton, the hosts won the toss and chose to bowl first.
Despite losing David Warner early, Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh added over 110 runs in 9 overs before the latter was dismissed for 28. However, there was no stopping Finch on the day.
The right-hander blasted 14 maximums and looked good for more before he was dismissed for a 63-ball 156 in the 18th over. Australia eventually ended up with 248 runs on the board and won the high-scoring game by 41 runs.
7. Brendon McCullum 158* vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
18 April 2008: The much anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off with a peerless innings from New Zealand's Brendon McCullum.
Kolkata Knight Riders lost the early wickets of Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting and David Hussey but McCullum was operating on a different pedestal. The Kiwi opener powered 13 sixes and ten fours as his unbeaten 158 enabled KKR post a formidable 222 on the board. In reply, Royal Challengers Bangalore were bowled out for a paltry 82.
It was the first time any player had scored over 150 in a T20 game. McCullum's unbeaten innings was a record individual score in the IPL for over five years.
6. Brendon McCullum 158* vs Derbyshire
3 July, 2015: Batting first in a 2015 Natwest T20 Blast game in Birmingham, Warwickshire openers Varun Chopra and Brendon McCullum put up an opening stand of 160 runs in just 13 overs.
Despite the fall of Chopra, McCullum continued with his merry ways. The New Zealander heaved the ball past the boundary rope for fun as he crossed the 150-mark in a T20 game for the second time in his career.
McCullum's unbeaten knock of 158 off 64 balls contained 13 fours and 11 sixes as Warwickshire posted a mammoth 242 on the board before skittling out Derbyshire for 182.
5. Adam Lyth 161 vs Northamptonshire
17 August, 2017: Opener Adam Lyth proved to be the massive difference in the Natwest 2017 T20 Blast game between Yorkshire and Northamptonshire in Leeds. Yorkshire's openers Lyth and Kohler-Cadmore, with their powerful hitting, piled on the misery on Northamptonshire.
Cadmore was dismissed in the tenth over, but Lyth's blitzkrieg continued unabated. The left-hander hit 20 fours and seven sixes before being dismissed for a 73-ball 161 in the last over.
In reply, despite their openers putting on 72 runs in under five overs, Northamptonshire eventually collapsed to 136.
4. Hazratullah Zazai 162* vs Ireland
February 23, 2019: In a T20I game between Afghanistan and Ireland in Dehradun, Afghanistan opener Hazratullah Zazai went berserk from the first delivery.
The 22-year-old, in the company of Usman Ghani, put on a stunning 236-run opening stand. It is a record stand for any wicket in T20 cricket and it also marked only the second time a 200-run partnership for any wicket was registered in a T20I game.
Zazai remained unbeaten on 162 off 72 balls, studding his innings with 11 fours and 16 sixes as Afghanistan's 278-3 marked the highest score by any side in the format. The 'home' team ended up winning the game by 84 runs.
The left-hander, in the process, broke Aaron Finch's record for the highest individual score in a T20I game.
3. Hamilton Masakadza 162* vs Mashonaland Eagles
February 11, 2016: In a 2016 domestic T20 game between Mountaineers and Mashonaland in Bulawayo, Hamilton Masakadza scored an unbeaten 162 off 71 balls.
The right-hander's innings comprised 14 fours and 11 sixes as Mountaineers posted a mammoth 242/3 on the board.
Hamilton Masakadza opened the innings along with Roy Kaia against Mashonaland Eagles which saw the former explode with 162 runs from just 71 balls at Bulawayo. His innings consisted of 14 boundaries and eleven maximums.
Mountaineers were never in the chase before they lost a rain-marred game by 125 runs courtesy the DLS method.
2. Aaron Finch 172 vs Zimbabwe
3 July 2018: In the third game of a three-match T20I series between Australia and Zimbabwe in 2018, Aaron Finch broke his own record of the highest individual score in a T20I match.
The captain led from the front as he smashed 16 fours and ten sixes against a modest attack to pile on the agony for the hosts. Chasing 230 runs for an unlikely win, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 129.
Finch, in the process, became the first player in T20I cricket, and the third player in T20s to post multiple 150 plus scores in a game.
1. Chris Gayle 175* vs Pune Warriors
April 23, 2013: Chris Gayle is renowned for his T20 heroics all around the world in T20 tournaments. The big left-hander, who has hit 22 centuries in T20 cricket, is miles ahead of the duo of Michael Klinger and Aaron Finch (8 apiece) for most centuries in the format.
In an IPL game in 2013 between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Pune Warriors India, the latter were at the receiving end of some brutal hitting by Gayle. The left-hander scored 17 maximums en route to a stunning unbeaten 175 off 66 balls. In reply, Pune fell short of Gayle's total by 42 runs!
Gayle's 17 sixes and his knock of 175 are both records for most sixes and the highest individual score by a player in T20 cricket. The Jamaican is, not surprisingly, one of three players to have scored multiple 150 plus innings in the format.
The left-hander who is one of 14 players to have scored a hundred in all three formats of the game, is the only one to have registered a Test match triple, an ODI double and a T20 century.