Trivia - batting January 2, 2009

McCullum's blitzkreig and other demolition jobs

Until now we have only looked at wins by huge number of runs or by 10 wickets as comprehensive wins

This is my second lightweight post in preparation for the serious analysis on Test Captains.

While I was perusing a table I found that there was an innings scoring rate of 15.83. I went back to the scorecard and saw what could be termed as the most devastating win in ODI history. I started thinking about such matches. Until now we have only looked at wins by huge number of runs or by 10 wickets as comprehensive wins. Now there is a different angle in terms of scoring rates.

This also enables us to look across both types of matches, whether teams win batting first or second. In both these matches the RpO differential is a clear indicator of the extent of domination. We should remember that a 10-wkt win need not be that dominating a victory. Imagine a team bats first and scores 200 in 40 overs. The chasing team bats very carefully and wins, say, in 45 overs by 10 wickets. This is certainly not a very comprehensive a win.

There are no qualifying conditions for this analysis. It is a very simple one of finding the RpO differential and ranking by this measure. I have separated the two tables so that we can have a clearer understanding of the win margins.

Let us look at the tables.

Big wins in ODI matches : Batting second

No. MtId Year FBt Score RpO WonBy Score RpO RpO Result Diff

1. 2660 2007 Bng 93/10 (37.5) 2.46 NZL 95/ 0 ( 6.0) 15.83 13.38 10 wkts 2. 1776 2001 Zim 38/10 (15.4) 2.43 SLK 40/ 1 ( 4.2) 9.23 6.81 9 wkts 3. 1940 2003 Eng 117/10 (41.0) 2.85 AUS 118/ 0 (12.2) 9.57 6.71 10 wkts 4. 1958 2003 Can 36/10 (18.4) 1.93 SLK 37/ 1 ( 4.4) 7.93 6.00 9 wkts 5. 1961 2003 Bng 108/10 (35.1) 3.07 SAF 109/ 0 (12.0) 9.08 6.01 10 wkts 6. 1883 2002 Hol 136/10 (50.0) 2.72 PAK 142/ 1 (16.2) 8.69 5.97 9 wkts 7. 1221 1997 Bng 130/ 8 (43.0) 3.02 IND 132/ 1 (15.0) 8.80 5.78 9 wkts 8. 2172 2004 Usa 65/10 (24.0) 2.71 AUS 66/ 1 ( 7.5) 8.43 5.72 9 wkts 9. 2521 2007 Pak 107/10 (45.4) 2.34 SAF 113/ 0 (14.0) 8.07 5.73 10 wkts 10. 1464 1999 Bng 178/ 7 (50.0) 3.56 AUS 181/ 3 (19.5) 9.13 5.57 7 wkts 11. 1758 2001 Ken 90/10 (37.1) 2.42 IND 91/ 0 (11.3) 7.91 5.49 10 wkts 12. 1963 2003 Can 202/10 (42.5) 4.72 WIN 206/ 3 (20.3) 10.05 5.33 7 wkts 13. 2575 2007 Ire 77/10 (27.4) 2.78 SLK 81/ 2 (10.0) 8.10 5.32 8 wkts 14. 2574 2007 Eng 154/10 (48.0) 3.21 SAF 157/ 1 (19.2) 8.12 4.91 9 wkts 15. 1465 1999 Sco 68/10 (31.3) 2.16 WIN 70/ 2 (10.1) 6.89 4.73 8 wkts 16. 2677 2008 Eng 158/10 (35.1) 4.49 NZL 165/ 0 (18.1) 9.08 4.59 10 wkts (D/L) 17. 2063 2003 Eng 88/10 (46.1) 1.91 SLK 89/ 0 (13.5) 6.43 4.53 10 wkts 18. 1891 2002 Bng 154/ 9 (50.0) 3.08 SAF 155/ 0 (20.2) 7.62 4.54 10 wkts 19. 1977 2003 Can 196/10 (47.0) 4.17 NZL 197/ 5 (23.0) 8.57 4.40 5 wkts 20. 2026 2003 Pak 185/10 (44.0) 4.20 ENG 189/ 3 (22.0) 8.59 4.39 7 wkts

The first match in this table defies description. Bangladesh is not a weak team such as Hong Kong or Bermuda are. It is not clear what prompted McCullum's assault on the hapless Bangladesh bowlers. Maybe a Bangladeshi remark on beating New Zealand before the match or a personal comment on McCullum. Anyhow here are the details. Bangladesh, batting first, scored 93 in 38 overs and would have expected to pick up a wicket or two in 20 overs during which New Zealand would have cantered towards a comprehensive win.

What happened cannot be forgotten. New Zealand scored these 95 runs in 6 overs at a rate of 15.83, the highest for an innings, by a margin of over 50%, in ODI history. McCullum scored 80 in 28 balls, the second fastest completed 50+ innings in history. The difference in RpO is 13.38. The mind goes blank.

Given below is McCullum's scoring sequence. 6x6s, 9x4s and only 7 dot balls. Makes great viewing on print and should have made greater viewing, in person. Shahid Afridi, being the only batsman with a 100+ strike rate, who I consider the most attacking batsman ever in ODI cricket would have been proud to own this innings.

4 . 4 4b . 4 6 4 6 . . 2 . 4 4 6 4 1 2 1 6 . 6 2 4 6 . 4

Look at the next entry. In terms of RpO difference, it is almost half of the first. Sri Lanka, chasing the third lowest ever ODI total of 38, reached this target in over 4 overs. McCullum might have reached in 2 overs. The blast in this match did not come from batsmen but from Vaas who took 8 for 19.

The third match is interesting. England were dismissed for 117 and then mayhem. Gilchrist and Hayden (the vintage Hayden, not the 2008 imposter) reached this target in 12 overs (including 22 boundaries).

The West Indies innings rate of 10.05, in the 12th match against Canada, is the secong highest innings scoring rate, one of only two exceeding 10.0. This was a great performance since as many as 206 runs were scored in just over 20 overs, during which 36 boundaries were scored.

Note the number of 10-wicket wins. There are 8 such wins in the top 20. Also the number of times England have been at the receiving end of such margins, four in all, sharing the lead with Bangladesh.

It is surprising that 6 of these losses have been inflicted on the top teams, England 4 times and Pakistan 2 times. Sri Lanka and South Africa lead with 4 wins each.

Big wins in ODI matches : Batting first

No. MtId Year WonBy Score RpO Vs Score RpO RpO Result Diff Won by

1. 2537 2007 SAF 353/ 3 (40.0) 8.82 Hol 132/ 9 (40.0) 3.30 5.53 221 runs 2. 2542 2007 IND 413/ 5 (50.0) 8.26 Ber 156/10 (43.1) 3.61 4.65 257 runs 3. 2716 2008 IND 374/ 4 (50.0) 7.48 Hkg 118/10 (36.5) 3.20 4.28 256 runs 4. 2272 2005 NZL 397/ 5 (44.0) 9.02 Zim 205/10 (43.0) 4.77 4.26 192 runs 5. 2727 2008 NZL 402/ 2 (50.0) 8.04 Ire 112/10 (28.4) 3.91 4.13 290 runs 6. 1652 2000 SLK 299/ 5 (50.0) 5.98 Ind 54/10 (26.3) 2.04 3.94 245 runs 7. 0297 1985 AUS 323/ 2 (50.0) 6.46 Slk 91/10 (35.5) 2.54 3.92 232 runs 8. 2376 2006 ZIM 338/ 7 (50.0) 6.76 Ber 144/ 7 (50.0) 2.88 3.88 194 runs 9. 1763 2001 SAF 354/ 3 (50.0) 7.08 Ken 146/10 (45.3) 3.21 3.87 208 runs 10. 1599 2000 PAK 320/ 3 (50.0) 6.40 Bng 87/10 (34.2) 2.53 3.87 233 runs 11. 0531 1988 PAK 284/ 3 (45.0) 6.31 Bng 111/ 6 (45.0) 2.47 3.84 173 runs 12. 0457 1987 WIN 360/ 4 (50.0) 7.20 Slk 169/ 4 (50.0) 3.38 3.82 191 runs 13. 2390 2006 SLK 443/ 9 (50.0) 8.86 Hol 248/10 (48.3) 5.11 3.75 195 runs 14. 0951 1994 SLK 296/ 4 (50.0) 5.92 Zim 105/10 (48.1) 2.18 3.74 191 runs 15. 2169 2004 NZL 347/ 4 (50.0) 6.94 Usa 137/10 (42.4) 3.21 3.73 210 runs 16. 1764 2001 IND 351/ 3 (50.0) 7.02 Ken 165/ 5 (50.0) 3.30 3.72 186 runs 17. 1868 2002 AUS 332/ 5 (50.0) 6.64 Pak 108/10 (36.0) 3.00 3.64 224 runs 18. 0405 1986 WIN 248/ 5 (45.0) 5.51 Slk 55/10 (28.3) 1.93 3.58 193 runs 19. 2420 2006 SAF 418/ 5 (50.0) 8.36 Zim 247/ 4 (50.0) 4.94 3.42 171 runs 20. 2532 2007 AUS 334/ 6 (50.0) 6.68 Sco 131/10 (40.1) 3.26 3.42 203 runs

It is necessary to understand the reason why South Africa's win over Holland (by 221 runs) is placed ahead of India's win over Bermuda (by 257 runs). The first was over 40 overs while the second was over 50 overs. New Zealand's win by 290 runs over Ireland has an RpO differential of only 4.13 since Ireland scored quite freely.

India has two of the most comprehensive wins in the top 5 while New Zealand also has two. But all these 5 matches are against the minnows.

The most comprehensive "relevant" win was Sri Lanka's 245 run win over India. Jayasuriya and Vaas contributed to this demolition job.

Five of the losses have been sustained by the top teams, Sri Lanka sustaining such heavy defeats thrice, all during mid-1980s. Quite a few teams, including Sri Lanka have done this thrice in the top-20 table.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

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