3. Tillakaratne Dilshan, 471 runs in 2009
This make-shift opener from Sri Lanka made the opening slot his own since he was first sent up the order around 2008. Known for his disruptive play, particularly his knack of finding gaps in the off side, 2009 was the year, a year which brought him the award for Twenty20 performance of the year award, Dilshan scored 471 runs in aggregate in the T20 internationals that year. He scored his way to five scores of fifty or more, including a best of 96 against West Indies in 2009 ICC Twenty20 World Cup Semi-Final. He averaged more than 42 that year in the format.