ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
The most and least productive overs in T20Is
An over-wise analysis of T20 internationals, and the best overs for batsmen and bowlers in this format
September 21, 2012
All stats exclude ten matches for which ball-by-ball data is not available. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh feature once each in these ten games, while the others involved Associate teams. Stats updated till September 19, 2012.
It has been seven and a half years since the first T20 international was played, between New Zealand and Australia, in Auckland in February 2005. The ICC has been pretty conservative in scheduling them, despite which the overall tally of T20 internationals played so far is a fairly healthy 265, with 84 of these being in World Twenty20 tournaments, and 31 more in the World Twenty20 Qualifiers.
When T20 first started, batsmen and bowlers would not have had much of an idea of how to approach such a condensed format (apart from the batsman trying to hit every ball as hard as possible), but gradually both species have evolved certain methods to outwit the other. (To read about this from a batting, spin-bowling and fast-bowling perspective, click here.) Even though a team innings is only 20 overs, there are still pockets within it when batsmen try to dominate, and others when they ease off.
Which are the specific overs when the batsmen score the quickest, and when do they lose the most wickets? How does the Powerplay impact the run rates and averages, and does the run-scoring drop immediately after the Powerplay overs? Read on to find out more. (For a similar analysis of the IPL, click here.)
Several numbers in the table below are along expected lines. Here's a look at some of them:
- The last five overs are the most productive. Apart from the 17th and 18th overs swapping positions, each over in this period is more productive than the previous one. The fifth over is the only one, apart from the last five, in which the average run rate is more than eight per over.
- The fifth over also sees unusually few wickets fall: only 127 batsmen have been dismissed in the fifth, compared to 153 in the fourth and 152 in the sixth. The fifth-over average is thus extremely high - it's easily the highest among all overs, and the only one that's 30-plus. This one is more difficult to explain - is it because the fifth over is often when the first-change bowler comes on, after two overs from the new-ball bowler? - but there was a similar trend in IPL 2012 too: only 25 wickets fell in the fifth overs - the fewest - at an average of 45.76, which was the highest in any over. (The second-highest was 39.73, in the tenth.)
- Apart from the first over, the lowest run rate is in the seventh, as batsmen take a breather after the frenetic activity of the Powerplay overs. In fact, the run rates are pretty low in the eighth and ninth overs as well.
|Over no.||Runs||Wickets||Average||Run rate||Dot ball %||Boundary %|
The next table isn't about most runs scored in an over of a T20 international - you can click here for that stat - but it's about batsmen scoring the most runs in a particular over in all T20 internationals they've played in.
At the head of this list is David Warner, who also makes two other appearances in the top eight. In the third over of all matches he has played in, Warner has scored 179 runs in 92 balls - a rate of 11.54 per over. Brendon McCullum features three times in the table below, scoring plenty in the first, third and fourth overs, but his scoring rate isn't particularly destructive. Graeme Smith, Shane Watson and Warner have all scored at around two runs per ball in their high-scoring overs.
The overs listed below are all during the Powerplay, and the batsmen are all openers, which is what you'd expect. Chris Gayle doesn't feature in the list simply because he hasn't played that many matches - only 23, in which he has scored 757 runs at 36.04, at a strike rate of 143.91. His most productive over is also the fourth, in which he has scored 92 from 44 balls, a run rate of 12.54.
|Batsman||Over no.||Runs||Balls||Dismissals||Average||Run rate|
The list of bowlers who have taken the most wickets in a particular over is dominated by Pakistan, with Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi all featuring twice in the top eight - that's also a good illustration of why Pakistan are arguably the best bowling team in T20 internationals.
Ajmal leads the way, with 14 wickets in the 121 balls he has bowled in the 18th overs of all matches he has played in. Gul has been equally effective in the final overs, with a combined 20 wickets in the 17th and 18th. And in the middle overs, Afridi takes care of things, with eight wickets each in the eighth and 11th overs. Not only have all these Pakistan bowlers taken wickets, they've done so while maintaining excellent economy rates.
While these bowlers all have superb stats, even these numbers fade a bit when compared to those of Ajantha Mendis' 16th-over figures: in 30 balls, he has taken eight wickets, conceding 21 runs, for an average of 2.62 runs per wicket. In the rout of Zimbabwe in the first match of the ongoing World Twenty20, Mendis' 16th over was a double-wicket maiden. Given that he has taken 46 wickets in T20 internationals, 17% of all his wickets have come in the 16th over. That's one stat Mahela Jayawardene should keep in mind when Sri Lanka play South Africa in their next match, and indeed going further in the World Twenty20.
|Bowler||Over no.||Balls||Runs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate|
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on TwitterFeeds: S Rajesh
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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