ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

World Cup 2011

DRS, batting Powerplays, and starting with spin

A few key numbers from the first phase of World Cup 2011

S Rajesh

March 22, 2011

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

Robin Peterson struck twice in the first over, England v South Africa, Group B, World Cup, Chennai, March 6, 2011
Robin Peterson's over against England is the best example of how effective spinners have been at the beginning of an innings © Getty Images
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An all-time high run-rate
The average runs scored per over so far is 5.07, which is the highest so far among the ten World Cups. The 2007 tournament is next with 4.95, which means this could be the first World Cup with a five-plus run-rate.

The weaker nations have obviously been involved in a lot of matches in this tournament due to its format, but while their batting has brought down the overall run-rate, their bowling has boosted it. In the 16 matches in which the nine Test-playing teams have played each other, the average run-rate has been 5.12, which is marginally higher than the overall tournament run-rate.

Also, there've been 20 centuries scored so far, which equals the 2007 tally, and is only one short of the record total of 21 hundreds which were scored in the 2003 edition.

In terms of 300-plus scores, this World Cup has already broken the earlier record: there have been 17 so far, while there were only 16 in 2007. The difference, though, is the lack of the really high scores: in 2007, there were eight scores of more than 340; this time, there have been only three.

Of the 17 scores of 300 or more, only six have come against the top teams, and Ireland's outstanding chase of England's 327 is the only instance of a lesser team scoring more than 300 against a top side.

Overall numbers from the World Cup so far
  Matches Runs Wickets Average Run rate 100s/ 50s 300+ scores
All matches 42 18,255 642 28.43 5.07 20/ 88 17
Against the top nine teams 38 10,882 457 23.81 4.76 11/ 45 6
Top nine teams against each other 16 6929 252 27.49 5.12 9/ 31 5

Competitive or one-sided?
With so many games involving the weaker teams, it was inevitable that many games would be one-sided, and so it has been in the first phase of the World Cup. Of the 41 games that have produced results, 24 have been decided by a margin of more than 75 runs, or by five or more wickets with 30 or more deliveries to spare. Of those 24 games, 16 have involved the weaker teams.

A tale of three countries
The pitch in Chennai hasn't been batsman-friendly, but most of the other venues in India have seen good batting conditions, with the result that the overall run-rate in matches played in India is 5.22, which is well clear of the rates in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The rate in Bangladesh suffers also due to the two abject collapses by the home team, who were bowled out for 58 and 78 by West Indies and South Africa. Out of the 20 centuries scored in the World Cup, 14 have been scored in the 26 matches in India - an average of 1.86 matches per hundred. In Sri Lanka the average is 2.50 matches per hundred, while it's three in Bangladesh.

In terms of grounds, the top five run-rates all belong to Indian venues, with Pallekele and Hambantota occupying the next two spots.

Matches in the three countries in the World Cup so far
Host country Matches Average Run rate 100s/ 50s 4s/ 6s 300+ scores
India 26 29.88 5.22 14/ 60 1099/ 183 12
Sri Lanka 10 26.99 4.86 4/ 18 338/ 34 4
Bangladesh 6 24.39 4.68 2/ 10 190/ 17 1

The toss factor
Out of the 42 matches so far, 22 have been won by the team batting first and 18 by the side chasing (one match was washed out and one was tied). In 30 day-night games, 15 were won by the team batting first, and 13 by the team chasing. Also, of the 40 games which produced a decisive winner, exactly 20 were won by the team which won the toss. In the 16 matches involving the top nine teams, though, ten were won by the team which won the toss, while only four times did a team win the toss and lose the game. (One match was tied, and one washed out.)

The teams batting first also have a much higher run-rate, with 80% of the centuries being scored by them. The four batsmen to score centuries in run-chases so far in the tournament are AB de Villiers, Andrew Strauss, Paul Stirling, and Kevin O'Brien.

Overall numbers from the World Cup so far
  Matches Runs Wickets Average Run rate 100s/ 50s 300+ scores
First innings 42 10,404 352 29.55 5.29 16/ 53 13
Second innings 41 7851 290 27.07 4.80 4/ 35 4

The dreaded batting Powerplay
It's the five-over period that's come in for the most discussion in this World Cup, so here are the batting Powerplay numbers. The overall run-rate in these Powerplays is 7.89, while the average runs per wicket is almost 22. That converts into a five-over score of almost 40 runs, for the loss of nearly two wickets.

Batting Powerplay in World Cup 2011
  Runs Balls Wickets Average Run rate
Teams batting 1st 1317 952 62 21.24 8.30
Teams batting 2nd 694 577 30 23.13 7.21
Overall 2011 1529 92 21.85 7.89

New Zealand have the highest run-rate of all teams, and they also made the most runs in a single batting Powerplay, scoring 74 against Canada. The second-best effort was Pakistan's 70 against Kenya. England have lost the most wickets, followed by India.

Team-wise batting Powerplay numbers
Batting team Runs Balls Wickets Average Run rate
New Zealand 138 79 7 19.71 10.48
Pakistan 157 96 3 52.33 9.81
South Africa 222 136 10 22.20 9.79
Sri Lanka 211 142 6 35.16 8.91
Ireland 147 105 5 29.40 8.40
Netherlands 150 108 6 25.00 8.33
West Indies 140 105 6 23.33 8.00
Australia 121 100 4 30.25 7.26
India 154 130 9 17.11 7.10
Bangladesh 90 80 5 18.00 6.75
Zimbabwe 122 110 7 17.42 6.65
Kenya 85 78 3 28.33 6.53
England 180 170 14 12.85 6.35
Canada 94 90 7 13.42 6.26

Starting with spin
It's been done in one-day internationals from time to time, but never as often as in this World Cup. Dipak Patel and New Zealand made the headlines for using that tactic so successfully in 1992, but thereafter it was used sparingly: only once in 1999, three times in 2003, and never in 2007. In this World Cup, though, a spinner has opened the bowling - ie, bowled one of the first two overs - 26 times in 83 innings, which is almost once every three innings.

The team which has used this tactic most often is one from whom you'd have never expected it a couple of decades back. West Indies have opened the bowling with Sulieman Benn in each of their six matches, even against India on a bouncy track in Chennai which cried out for two fast bowlers to exploit it. Zimbabwe have started with Ray Price five times - they opened with two fast bowlers against Sri Lanka - but the team which has used this tactic most successfully is South Africa. Johan Botha got rid of Chris Gayle in their first match of the tournament, and Robin Peterson went one better, dismissing both Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen in his first over.

Out of 14 teams, nine have used a spinner to open the bowling at least once. The ones who haven't are Australia, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Canada, and Kenya.

The DRS results
In all, 162 decisions have been reviewed so far, of which 35 have been upheld (ie, the original decision has been changed), while 127 have been struck down. That means 21.60%, or about one in five appeals, have been successful. Of these, the success rate for batsmen has been 23.19% (16 out of 69), while for the fielding team it's 20.43% (19 out of 93).

South Africa have used the DRS better than any other side with a success rate of more than 38%. Zimbabwe and Canada, while not matching South Africa for results, have done almost as well in terms of reviews.

Teams which used the DRS the best
Team Decisions reviewed Appeal upheld Struck down Percent upheld
South Africa 13 5 8 38.46
Zimbabwe 14 5 9 35.71
Canada 14 5 9 35.71
Pakistan 18 5 13 27.78
Kenya 16 4 12 25.00
Australia 8 2 6 25.00

Ireland impressed everyone with their skills with bat, ball, and in the field, but they'll need to do some work on the DRS - they didn't get a single review correct in 11 attempts, making them the only team with a 0% record. Bangladesh, Netherlands and New Zealand weren't much better.

Teams which used the DRS the worst
Team Decisions reviewed Appeal upheld Struck down Percent upheld
Ireland 11 0 11 0.00
Bangladesh 11 1 10 9.09
Netherlands 11 1 10 9.09
New Zealand 11 1 10 9.09
Sri Lanka 8 1 7 12.50

Among umpires, Aleem Dar, Ian Gould and Billy Bowden haven't had a single decision overturned through the DRS. At the other end of the scale are Asoka de Silva and Daryl Harper, with 50% or more of their decisions being overturned.

Kumar Dharmasena's decisions have been challenged more than that of any other umpire, but most of his calls - 14 out of 16 - have withstood the test of technology.

Umpires with lowest percent of decisions overturned
Umpire Matches Decisions reviewed Appeals upheld Struck down % struck down
Aleem Dar 5 8 0 8 100.00
Ian Gould 5 6 0 6 100.00
Billy Bowden 4 5 0 5 100.00
Shahvir Tarapore 4 9 1 8 88.89
Kumar Dharmasena 5 16 2 14 87.50
Marais Erasmus 5 8 1 7 87.50
Billy Doctrove 4 8 1 7 87.50

Umpires with highest percent of decisions overturned
Umpire Matches Decisions reviewed Appeal upheld Struck down % struck down
Asoka de Silva 4 8 5 3 37.50
Daryl Harper 5 14 7 7 50.00
Tony Hill 5 7 3 4 57.14
Amiesh Saheba 4 11 4 7 63.64

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. All DRS data compiled by Sanjay Murari.

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Comments: 60 
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Posted by Deepak on (March 25, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

not out.The hand needs to be holding the bat for it to be out.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 21:33 GMT)

Jana Amruth: The batsman is not out "caught" but may be given out "handled ball" - some other way - depending on circumstances.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 19:01 GMT)

But it does highlight that Harper is not good enough for International Cricket, with or without DRS this has been apparent for a long time, and De Silva isn't much better. Could it be the first time in a long time that there maybe a Aussie Umpire in the final? If the ball strikes the glove whilst not touching the bat, the correct decision should be Not Out. Most controversial and famous incident would the "catch" of Mark Kasprowicz in the famous Ashes Edgbaston test 0f 2005, when replay's suggested that the ball struck the glove whilst not touching the bat.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 16:24 GMT)

I think due to UDRS system, there is justice for small nations.We have not seen bulling by big nation player intimading umpire.ICC should review some fault in UDRS if any but they should not abondon it.They should make it compulsary for each nation to accept UDRS in all series in test as well as ODI.

Posted by Apratim on (March 23, 2011, 14:26 GMT)

I wonder why Asoka De Silva was singled out by ICC then? Daryl Harper had 7 decisions turned down, that's presumably more than 1 per match, and had only a 50% success rate. That, despite the DRS still being heavily biased towards the umpire. Parichay, along with India, WI and England are also not in the list.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 12:49 GMT)

Its because of this umpire rating system, the ground umpires are not ready to change their decision when the 3rd umpire leaves it for the ground umpire in certain occasions.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 12:08 GMT)

@jana:its not out as far as i know

Posted by Rawal on (March 23, 2011, 10:48 GMT)

@ Jana Amruth: According to law it is not out.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2011, 9:00 GMT)

@ Jana Amruth .. In the case the batsman should be not out, since the right hand has no contact with the bat... but yeah.. tht is where UDRS would come in handy

Posted by Sajesh on (March 23, 2011, 7:46 GMT)

I believe it is high time that umpires like Daryl Harper and Asoka De Silva are barred from umpiring in international matches. In one of the worldcup matches I saw Darryl Harper making 4 mistakes in one innings, when one mistake is enough to turn the match around.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

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