Guyana Amazon Warriors are currently on a ten-match winning streak in the Caribbean Premier League, going into the closing stages of the 2019 edition. Remarkably, they have got through the league phase of the tournament unbeaten, which is an even rarer feat in a top T20 franchise league where the competition is fierce and sides are evenly matched. They have come up against the all-star Trinbago Knight Riders, two-time defending champions and their bete noire, beaten them twice and pushed them to the fourth spot on the points table. Warriors have been among the most consistent sides in the CPL but still don't have a trophy to show for it despite having finished runners-up in four of the six editions.
As they look to exorcise those nightmares and carry their winning streak forward, here's a look at some of the most dominant sides in the T20 history. Remember, this is not a definitive list, which can be found here, but a selection of hot streaks that have been extraordinary for one reason or another: longevity, success across tournaments, against top-level opposition, or simply overcoming bad runs of form to put together a winning streak out of nowhere.
Sialkot Stallions, 25 wins, 2006-10
Competition: National T20 Cup
Long before Shoaib Malik became a sought-after allrounder in T20 leagues around the world, he was a serial match-winner for his regional T20 side in Pakistan: Sialkot Stallions. Stallions' stunning streak comprised five consecutive National T20 Cup titles, a feat unlikely to be bettered given how competitive circuit has become in modern times. If the low-profile nature of a domestic T20 competition makes it sound like a mean feat, its superlative nature is emphasised by the fact that no other T20 side has come anywhere close in the decade since then.
With a core comprising players who featured in Pakistan's run to the inaugural World T20 final in 2007 - Malik, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Asif and Abdur Rehman - they were clinical in dispatching all comers through that five-year run. A significant part of their winning streak came under Nazir's leadership when they won all 13 of their games between 2006-09. Stallions' hot streak made them the first Pakistan side to be invited to the 2012 edition of the Champions League, where they did not quite make it past the abbreviated qualifying stage. They would go on to win the 2011-12 edition under Malik, but that was about the end of their golden age.
Kolkata Knight Riders, 14 wins, 2014
Competitions: Indian Premier League, Champions League T20
Knight Riders were down and out in IPL 2014 with four points after seven matches when the tournament's most storied winning streak began. Away from their familiar home conditions at Eden Gardens till the 47th game of the tournament, thanks to the 2014 parliamentary elections, they struggled to get going, first in the UAE and then at different makeshift venues around the country. Robin Uthappa, shifted up to the top of the order, smashed his way to the top of the run-charts, Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav led the pace attack, while the spinners - Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Piyush Chawla - starred with the ball to bring back their winning formula.
If they were unstoppable in the latter stages of the IPL, their continued dominance in the Champions League makes the case for this to be the most comprehensive winning streak in T20 franchise history. They beat the champions of Australia (Perth Scorchers), Pakistan (Lahore Lions) and South Africa's second-best team (Dolphins) en route to the final, where Chennai Super Kings ended their run at 14 games.
Karnataka, 14* wins, 2018-19
Competition: Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (ongoing streak)
It is rare in any T20 competition these days that a side goes through an entire tournament remaining unbeaten, and that's exactly what Karnataka did in the 2018-19 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, India's other domestic T20 competition, away from the glitz and hype of the IPL. While they are blessed with a number of players who have made the step up to India colours - as many as five of their regular starting XI have played for the national side at some point - it was Karnataka's youngsters who stepped up through the tournament. The tournament's top run-getter Rohan Kadam and their highest wicket-taker V Koushik were both stars from the local Karnataka Premier League, while big names like Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey and Karun Nair stepped up in big games towards the business end. Their streak, which stretches as far back as the later stages of the 2018 edition, remains intact going into the 2020 edition of the tournament.
Surrey, 13 wins, 2003-04
Competition: Twenty20 Cup
When Twenty20 cricket was born out of a market research survey in England in 2003, with the aim of attracting newer, younger audiences, no one had a clue how the cricket itself would turn out, with all sorts of off-field gimmicks dominating headlines. Predictably, teams approached the format like they played one-day cricket, and the two dominant 50-over teams of the time, Gloucestershire and Surrey, came out on top. Both sides raced through the group stages unbeaten, and when they faced off in the semi-final, it was Adam Hollioake's Surrey who came out on top.
With the benefit of 15 years of history and hindsight, that Surrey side had all the ingredients of a modern T20 outfit: a hard-hitting opening batsman in Ali Brown, solid allrounders in Azhar Mahmood, Hollioake and Rikki Clarke, and two attacking spinners in Saqlain Mushtaq and Ian Salisbury. They went on to dominate the second edition as well before a Brad Hodge-led Leicestershire Foxes ended their winning streak in the final.
Sydney Sixers, 12 wins, 2012
Competitions: Big Bash League, Champions League T20
Before fashioning KKR's twin IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, Trevor Bayliss made his name as a T20 coach with the Sydney Sixers in the early 2010s. Led by senior pro Brad Haddin, with a proven express paceman in Brett Lee and the top-order hitting abilities of Michael Lumb, Bayliss had at his disposal some young stars who would go on to dominate the T20 circuit and international cricket in the years to come: imagine having all of David Warner, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, with the addition of Sunil Narine yet to come.
Still, if such an all-star squad winning the Big Bash is no jaw-dropping achievement, they would show the world how good they were in the Champions League that followed. Two top IPL teams CSK and Mumbai Indians, South Africa's top two (Titans and Highveld Lions), and England's second-best (Yorkshire Carnegie) were all sent on their way, as Haddin and Co completed the only unbeaten run to the Champions League title.
Afghanistan, 12 wins, 2018-19
Afghanistan had already set the T20I record for the longest winning streak when they began their second one at the start of 2018. No longer an Associate nation punching above their weight, with established T20 superstars in Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and a batting unit that was starting to come good, they went about knocking over the likes of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Ireland one series after another. So much so that when Hamilton Masakadza ended their run at 12 wins, they were ranked sixth in the ICC T20I rankings, ahead of all those sides. Teams can only play the hand they are dealt with, and Afghanistan's streak should not be foisted with an undeserved asterisk to account for the quality of opposition. After all, all of these sides were ranked above them until only a few years ago.
Pakistan, 9 wins, 2018-19
Pakistan's run at the top of the ICC T20I rankings has now lasted the best part of more than two years, and their rise under Mickey Arthur was remarkable, given how comprehensively they were knocked out in the group stages of the 2016 World T20. Between the end of that tournament and the end of 2018, they won each of their 11 series, against all kinds of opposition, home and away. The start of their winning streak came towards the end of a T20I tri-series in Zimbabwe, where they beat Australia twice including a cruise in the final. They followed it up by handing them a 3-0 drubbing in familiar conditions in the UAE, before repeating the feat against New Zealand, the previous incumbents of the No. 1 T20I spot in the rankings.
Their form has flagged away since, but it remains one of Pakistan's two most dominant phases in T20I cricket, powered by attacking bowlers who put wicket-taking and dismissing sides over restricting them, a rare sight in times of batting dominance in the 20-over game.