IPL 2012 stats analysis May 28, 2012

More runs, sixes, and close finishes

In a tournament of several stats highlights, the team with the best numbers deservedly lifted the cup

In the end, the best team won IPL 2012. It doesn't always happen that way in such a long tournament which has knockout matches at the end, but in this case Kolkata Knight Riders were the deserving winners despite some stunning performances from Chennai Super Kings in the last week. Knight Riders weren't the best batting side - three teams scored more runs than they did in the tournament, five teams had better run-rates, and they were also one of four sides to finish without a centurion. However, as a bowling unit, they were clearly the best: they finished as the joint-highest wicket-takers with 107, while their bowling average and economy rate was better than any other side in the tournament. Out of 102 fifty-plus scores in the tournament, only seven were scored against Knight Riders, which indicates how tough it was to score against them. (There were 15 such scores against Super Kings, and 13 against Delhi Daredevils.)

As the table below shows, the difference between the batting and bowling averages, and the run-rates with bat and ball, were both the highest for Knight Riders, who also had by far the best win-loss ratio of 2.40 - Daredevils were next at 1.57. Super Kings, on the other hand, were fourth in terms of win-loss ratio, at 1.25. While all other teams lost at least seven matches in the tournament, Knight Riders lost only five. The only team to have lost fewer matches in an entire IPL campaign is Rajasthan Royals - they lost only three in their title-winning effort in 2008.

Daredevils finished on top of the table after the round-robin matches, but let themselves down with two poor games in the knockouts, which pulled down their overall numbers considerably: their batting averages and strike rates were only slightly higher than their corresponding bowling ones.

How the top 4 teams fared in IPL 2012
Teams W/L Runs scored Ave/ RR Wkts taken Ave/ ER Ave diff RR diff
Kolkata Knight Riders 12/ 5 2504 26.63/ 7.70 107 22.11/ 7.16 4.52 0.54
Chennai Super Kings 10/ 8 2831 28.02/ 8.01 107 24.49/ 7.72 3.53 0.29
Delhi Daredevils 11/ 7 2645 28.13/ 8.24 101 27.17/ 7.94 0.96 0.30
Mumbai Indians 10/ 7 2462 23.22/ 7.43 106 23.86/ 7.65 -0.64 -0.22

Knight Riders' bowling firepower
Though it was the batting that really turned it on in the final, soaking up the pressure and chasing an above-par score, Knight Riders' bowling was their stronger suit, and it stayed consistent through all stages of the 20 overs that they spent on the field. In the Powerplay overs Jacques Kallis was among the best for them, bowling 19 overs and taking 7 for 114. Sunil Narine was obviously outstanding, with figures of 3 for 74 in 16 overs, while L Balaji, who missed out on the final, had 3 for 51 from 10 overs. The disappointment was Brett Lee: he went for 169 runs in 22 overs, and took just two wickets. Overall in the Powerplay overs, only one team - Mumbai Indians - had a better economy rate than Knight Riders.

In the middle and final overs, though, Knight Riders were easily the best bowling side, taking wickets and maintaining an excellent economy rate. In the middle overs (6.1 to 15), they had a couple of unlikely heroes. Rajat Bhatia took nine wickets at an economy rate of 7.17, while Balaji was terrific again, taking 6 for 81 in 14 overs, an economy rate of 5.78. In the slog overs Narine was their go-to bowler, and he rarely let them down, taking 21 wickets for 185 runs in 157 balls - an economy rate of 7.07 and an average of 8.80. Those were the best slog-over bowling stats of the tournament, marginally better than Lasith Malinga's 18 wickets at 10.27 and an economy rate of 7.55.(Click here for the batting and bowling stats for Knight Riders, and here for the overall IPL 2012 stats.)

Bowling performances of each team in IPL 2012
Team Powerplay - wkts Ave/ ER 6.1-15 - wkts Ave/ ER 15.1-20 - wkts Ave/ ER
Kolkata Knght Riders 22 31.90/ 6.69 37 27.29/ 6.77 48 13.62/ 8.26
Chennai Super Kings 21 39.57/ 7.33 41 28.80/ 7.36 45 13.53/ 8.57
Delhi Daredevils 27 28.81/ 6.98 39 31.41/ 7.70 35 21.20/ 9.47
Mumbai Indians 24 28.12/ 6.38 37  30.45/ 7.37 45 16.17/ 9.62
Royal Challengers Bangalore 17 39.64/ 7.24 35 29.82/ 7.73 37 21.27/ 10.56
Kings XI Punjab 23 29.47/ 6.83 33 32.72/ 7.50 37 18.83/ 9.65
Rajasthan Royals 23 30.30/ 6.92 37 27.59/ 7.09 32 21.37/ 9.86
Deccan Chargers 21 32.19/ 7.26 34 29.85/ 7.51 28 25.50/ 10.73
Pune Warriors 18 38.94/ 7.08 29 37.37/ 7.52 32 19.96/ 9.12

Close finishes
One of the highlights of IPL season 5 was the number of games that were decided in the last over. There were seven games in which the team chasing won off the last ball - Super Kings achieved it three times, and Mumbai Indians twice. Twelve more matches were won in the last over by the team batting second, while in six more games, the team batting first won by less than ten runs. Thus, in the 74 games in which there were results - two were washed out - there were 25 where either the team batting first won by less than ten runs, or the team chasing won in the last over. As a percentage of total matches, that's only bettered by the 2009 edition in South Africa, when 20 out of 56 matches had these results.

However, compared to the last two years, many more games have produced close results. In 2011, there were only two instances when the team chasing won off the last ball, while in 2010 there were no such results.

Close games in each season of the IPL
Year Matches <10 runs* Last over# Percentage
2012 74 6 19 33.78
2011 72 4 11 20.83
2010 59 3 11 23.73
2009 56 7 13 35.71
2008 58 7 11 31.03
* Team batting first won by less than 10 runs
# Team batting second won in last over

More matches, more runs, more sixes
Overall, IPL 2012 had more of pretty much everything - matches, runs, wickets, sixes and fifty-plus scores. (They had more than their share of controversies too, but that's beyond the scope of this piece.) There were two fewer fours struck this year than in 2011, but that was more than compensated by the number of sixes - 731 this year, compared to 639 in 2011. There were six centuries too, which equalled the mark set in two previous seasons.

In terms of overall averages and run-rates, though, IPL 2012 was very similar to its previous edition: the average and run-rate was only very marginally higher. The run-rate, though, was lower than that in 2008 and 2010.

The IPL numbers, by season
Year Matches Runs Wkts Average RPO 100s/ 50s 4s/ 6s
2012 75 22,453 857 26.19 7.82 6/ 96 1911/ 731
2011 73 21,154 813 26.01 7.72 6/ 89 1913/ 639
2010 60 18,864 720 26.20 8.12 4/ 88 1709/ 585
2009 57 16,320 697 23.41 7.48 2/ 68 1316/ 506
2008 58 17,937 689 26.03 8.30 6/ 83 1702/ 622

Pace v spin
Despite the outstanding performance of Narine and Muttiah Muralitharan, spinners overall didn't have such a great time - among the top eight wicket-takers, there was only one spinner. In fact, the average for spinners slipped past 30 for the first time since the opening IPL season, and 31.35 is the highest that spinners have collectively averaged in an IPL season.

Like in the 2011 edition, spinners bowled a fair bit during the Powerplay, but didn't get the rewards they had last year. In 2011, they had bowled 23% of the total deliveries bowled in the Powerplay overs, and taken 24% of the wickets (average 27.02, economy rate 6.62). This time, they bowled 24% of the deliveries, but got only 17% of the wickets (average 46.22, economy rate 6.79). They were still more economical than the faster bowlers, who went at 7.13 in the Powerplay overs, but they lacked the ability to take wickets.

Pace and spin in each IPL
Season Pace-wkts Ave/ ER Spin-wkts Ave/ ER
2012 531 27.19/ 7.81 241 31.35/ 7.41
2011 470 28.12/ 7.80 268 27.60/ 7.11
2010 405 29.64/ 8.32 210 28.80/ 7.34
2009 388 26.25/ 7.65 226 24.77/ 6.77
2008 445 29.23/ 8.09 134 30.38/ 8.18

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    @navneet sing,u r comparing vajji,s bowling with shakib in this years ipl?!plz,go to the stats,u will be ashamed of your comment!if shakib bowled negatively(in your language)& by doing so,if he can deliver like that,every captain will ask for doing that.by the way,why every time u belongs to sunil narine to criticize shakib's effort?!did we say that shakib was better than sunil in this years ipl? are u telling that,as morkel was very good,so,malinga was ordinary?!@k'more edwards,u made a misinterpretation brother,asad tanvir took narine,s name to show that even narine was wicketless in 3 matches,it was a praise for narine@abaa,why u everytime takes sobers,bradman etc in sakib's opposition?U also better know,shakib deserved a mention in this report@legaleagle,For your information,according to cricinfo,he is the best allrounder of ipl,12 and if 30 overs bowling was granted for bowling analysis,he would be within best 5 bowlers(if u r not believing,see stats)

  • Kurt on May 30, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    Geez, what is it with Shakib Al Hasan all the time by you folks? The guy played well and full stop. Let's leave it there.

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    I really do not understand how do u make negative comments about Shakib. His statistics say it all. Still KKR auth likes or shows respect for the white cricketers (ie. Australians). Since there is only 4 - slots for foreign players. KKR Coach and Team Capt always preferred Bret Lee over Shakib even in the Final match Gombir allowed Bret Lee 4 Overs inspite of his poor performance. Bret Lee always gave lot of run. On the other hand Gombhir has given only 3 Overs ( including the final Over) . As you know final over was always crucial. Once Shakib got the ball for final over CSK already made 183 runs and had 7 Wickets in hand. Dhony was in the crease and the Great Shakib balled with his natural tallent, Shakib did not allow a single boundary from his over. This is ........Shakib.. The back biters should open up your heart and do recognize Shakib Al HAsan. He was allowed to play for only 8 matches out of 16 matches. Still he has been ranked as the best All rounder in this IPL..

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    That no-ball bowled by Hify costed CSK the title itself...

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    surprisingly.. no mention of the shakibs last over. the target could have been well over 200! and he hit that uber cool four of the last ball of the penultimate over. that to me was the turning point

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    To be honest, the report is very biased. Shakib's stats indicate that he was clearly their second best bowler in terms of almost everything despite playing only 8 matches. No mention of Shakib in the bowling department makes that part of the article look bad. ... Whether Shakib is ordinary or not is not the question here. His stats back him up and thus he deserved a mention. I'm personally tired of people backing Shakib up each and everywhere they can BUT here, he deserves to be backed up and rightly so.

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    I dont understand how can shakib b the best all rounder in the world without playing outside sub continent.. & that too mostly he played in bangladesh only.. foolish that was.. whosoever has declared that.. shakib stands no where.. he is just a kid.. & should know how to play outside bangladesh.. pitches of england, australia, africa where spiners hardly get any help it will be difficult for him to perform with his ordinary bowling..

  • Kazi Rezaul on May 30, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    Why Cricinfo always ignor SAKIB on their reposts? SAKIB tooks 12 wkts in only 8 matchs with Econ 6.50...also took wkt in every matchs. Only b"coz he is from BD? He was so consistent with his bowling...Pls show some respect to the performar...He is the best allrounder of the world...And also best allrounder of IPL12 as per cricinfo analysis.Dont forget SAKIB's contribution to KKR.

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Report bias, no mention sakib!

  • Suj on May 30, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    @ every Bangladeshi fan out there speaking of Shakib Al Hassan like he's Bradman & Sobers combined :

    What do you think he deserves? A doctorate? A knighthood? What? Pray tell us as we want to give this Colossus the respect he deserves!

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