T20I batting nominees January 23, 2019

The thrill of the chase

ESPNcricinfo staff
These performances, all in the second innings save for one, were not kind to bowlers, or to our nerves

Glenn Maxwell contributed 64% of Australia's total of 161 runs in the second match of the Trans-Tasman T20I series © Getty Images

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Glenn Maxwell
103 not out v England
Trans-Tasman Tri-series, Hobart

Having taken 3 for 10 to restrict England to 155, Maxwell walked in to bat in the first over of the chase, with Australia already two down and the ball swinging about. Once he saw off the tricky early period, Maxwell delighted with both inventive and orthodox shots, slapping sixes over cover and placing boundaries just out of the reach of fielders. He was dropped on 40 and survived an appeal for a low catch on 59 to go on to make his second T20I hundred.

D'Arcy Short
76 v New Zealand
Trans-Tasman Tri-series, Auckland

Poor Ben Wheeler had only recently returned to New Zealand's T20I squad after a year out. In his first over, Short hit him for a six and two fours off successive balls - all off the edge. When Wheeler came back after two overs, he bowled Short a bouncer that sailed over the batsman's and keeper's head for five wides. Not that Short spared the other New Zealand bowlers - by the end of the Powerplay, he and David Warner had made 91 for no loss. When Short was finally out in the 17th over (Wheeler's last over, but he was taken out of the attack after two high no-balls), Australia were comfortably placed to complete the highest successful chase in all T20s.

Heinrich Klaasen
69 v India
second T20I, Centurion

After starring in South Africa's only win in the ODIs against India, Klaasen shored up the chase in the second T20I with a fast-paced 93-run stand with JP Duminy. Under a steady drizzle, Klaasen picked out India's lone spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal, as his target, taking him for 41 runs off 12 balls, including a switch-hit six over deep backward point. When Chahal tried to counter him by coming round the wicket, Klaasen swept and pulled him for two more sixes.

Mushfiqur Rahim hit the winning run that kicked off a thousand snake dances © AFP/Getty Images

Mushfiqur Rahim
72 not out v Sri Lanka
Nidahas Trophy, Colombo

The highest total Bangladesh had successfully chased before this match was 165; here, they needed to get 215. After their openers got them more than a third of the way there, Mushfiqur came in and made sure the required rate never got out hand, interspersing fours and sixes with plenty of singles. When they needed 40 off the last four overs, he swept Jeevan Mendis for a six, and when it came down to 16 off eight, he slogged Nuwan Pradeep for a six over midwicket, and then picked the nine required off the final over in the first four balls.

Mahmudullah
43 not out v Sri Lanka
Nidahas Trophy, Colombo

So you've helped bring the equation down from 50 runs off five overs to 12 off the last one. You've lost your partner to a run-out, unsuccessfully argue with the umpires over not calling a no-ball, witness a shoving match between several players, and see your captain threaten to take off the field in protest. It's 12 off four balls now. What do you do? You drive through covers for four, capitalise on some poor fielding to scramble two more, and then flick a six to seal the game and launch into a snake dance that incenses a nation.

Dinesh Karthik
29 not out v Bangladesh
Nidahas Trophy final, Colombo

When Karthik came to the crease, India needed 34 off 12 balls. Mustafizur Rahman had just completed his final over with a wicket maiden (conceding one leg-bye). Karthik brought India roaring back with 6, 4, 6, 0, 2 and 4. Now they needed 12 off the final over. Karthik was back on strike on the third ball, but could only manage a single off it. His partner, Vijay Shankar, subdued so well by Mustafizur, hit a four off the fourth and was caught off the fifth in dramatic fashion. India needed five from the final ball, and Karthik sent the half-volley for six over extra cover to complete one of the most memorable cameos in T20I history.

Fakhar Zaman scooped, pulled and swatted his way to 91 and carried Pakistan through to their highest successful T20I chase © Associated Press

Fakhar Zaman
91 v Australia
Tri-Series final, Harare

Zaman made sure that Glenn Maxwell's two wickets in the first over didn't derail Pakistan's highest successful T20I chase. He combined with Sarfraz Ahmed to plunder 21 runs from Maxwell's second over, but really got going in the 12th over and after, repeatedly hitting Ashton Agar down the wicket, and countering Andrew Tye's slower balls with a late cut and a pull to the boundary. By the time he got out, Pakistan needed only 30 from the last four overs, which they got easily to clinch their ninth successive T20I series win.

KL Rahul
101 not out v England
first T20I, Manchester

India started their long tour of England with an emphatic eight-wicket win in the first T20I. Kuldeep Yadav had kept England down to 159, and Rahul made the target look easier than it was by getting there with nearly two overs to spare. Cashing in on a dropped catch when he was on 17 - he had already hit a delightful six and a four through cover - Rahul went on an elegant rampage, cutting and clipping Liam Plunkett for two fours in a row, hitting him for two fours and two sixes in one over, and reverse-sweeping and reverse-swatting Moeen Ali for fours before coming down the track to lift him deep into the stands past long-on.

Rohit Sharma
100 not out v England
third T20I, Bristol

Coming into this match, Rohit had averaged 26.08 at a strike rate of 104.1 in all T20 cricket since February 17, 2018. But you wouldn't have thought he was in a slump the way he hit 11 fours and five sixes in this match, many down the ground but also with pulls, flicks, late cuts and sweeps. He got to his hundred (off 56 balls) in the penultimate over to become only the second player, after Colin Munro, to score three T20I hundreds. Later in the year, he broke the record with a fourth, against West Indies.

Glenn Maxwell
46 v India
first T20I, Brisbane

The only first-innings entry in this list: in a 17-overs-a-side match, Maxwell started quietly, letting first Chris Lynn and then Marcus Stoinis dominate the proceedings before going after left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya, hitting him for three consecutive leg-side sixes and another over midwicket in his next over. Maxwell didn't let Australia's momentum slip after Lynn's dismissal, and was the difference in the narrow four-run win.

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