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IPL's two halves, and its most productive overs

Stats confirm that the last overs of IPL 2013 have been more productive than in previous seasons, and batsmen have finally come into their own after a sluggish start

S Rajesh

May 10, 2013

Comments: 3 | Text size: A | A

AB de Villiers launches the ball through the off side, Pune Warriors v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2013, Pune, May 2, 2013
AB de Villiers is one of the batsmen who has almost perfected the art of scoring at more than two runs per ball during the last overs of the IPL © BCCI
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All stats updated till matches played on May 8, 2013

After a pretty slow start - in terms of boundaries and run rates - IPL 2013 has picked up steam pretty significantly in the second half, with plenty of hundreds, fours and sixes. Splitting the first 54 matches into two halves, the difference is quite stark: in the first 27 games, the run rate was a sluggish 7.21 runs per over; the average runs per dismissal was 21.33, and only 28 fifties were scored, an average of one per match. The 27th match was played on April 20, and in the two games played that day, teams batting first scored 119 (Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings) and 117 (Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore). Commentators were quick to point out that bowlers had finally got the measure of the format, and had worked on their skills and sorted out the batsmen.

The next day, in the two games played, teams batting first scored 161 (Mumbai Indians v Delhi Daredevils) and 185 (Pune Warriors v Kings XI Punjab), and yet lost. That almost opened the floodgates, for since then the IPL has largely been about batsmen dominating the bowlers. The average runs per wicket has picked up significantly - it's gone up to more than 30 - while the run rate has increased by almost a run per over. There've also been four hundreds and 40 fifties in the last 27 games, a huge increase from the first 27 matches.

In terms of high totals, 13 of the 14 scores of 185 or more this season have occurred in the second half of the tournament. In the first 27 matches, the only such score was Mumbai Indians' 209 against Daredevils; since then, there's been, on average, one such score every two games. Suddenly, the bowlers aren't looking that smart any more.

In terms of overall run rate in the tournament, this year's figure of 7.68 is now only marginally behind last year's 7.82, and 2011's 7.72.

The two halves to IPL 2013
  Average Run rate 100s/ 50s 4s/ 6s
First 27 matches 21.33 7.21 0/ 28 692/ 187
Last 27 matches 30.35 8.16 4/ 40 791/ 278

All these runs in the second half of the tournament has done plenty of good to the overall scoring rates in this IPL, but it's also been interesting to see the patterns of scoring, and compare them to the earlier seasons. The table below lists the over-wise numbers for this season, overall and in each innings, since the scoring patterns in chases is often dictated by the target. Here are some of the key numbers from the two tables below:

  • It always looked like teams were starting more carefully than in most of the previous seasons, and the numbers confirm that: for teams batting first, the run rate in the first over is less then five per over. It was similarly low in 2012 as well, but in the couple of seasons before that it was more than six per over. For teams chasing this season, the first-over rate is 5.33 per over. Even that's thanks to the improvement in the second half of the season - 5.88 for the teams batting first, and 5.74 for the teams chasing. In the first 27 matches, it was 4.07 for the teams batting first, and 4.92 for teams chasing.

    • Teams haven't shown much desperation to score big runs during the Powerplay overs. The teams batting first have scored about 41 runs in the Powerplays, while the teams chasing have put up 43. Except for the fifth over, when the rate goes up to 8.42, in all the other Powerplay overs, teams batting first have scored at less than 7.5 per over. In the last two seasons the rates have been similar (43 in the Powerplays for the teams batting first in 2012, and 42 in 2011), but in 2010 the average was 47.

    • In earlier years the sixth over was often the most productive of the Powerplays, and one of the most high-scoring of the entire innings, as batsmen recognised that as their last opportunity to capitalise on the fielding restrictions. Not so this time, though: nine overs have been more productive than the sixth.

    • Teams batting first have also lost the fewest wickets in the sixth over - only nine. Overall, the fewest wickets have fallen in the fourth over - 18.

    • Since there's been no frenzied activity in the sixth, there's been no distinct cool-off in the seventh, either. Last year, the run rates for the team batting first were 8.43 in the sixth, and 5.77 in the seventh, a difference of 2.66 runs to the over. This year, the difference is less than a run.

      Over-wise stats for IPL 2013
      Over No. 1st inngs-Wkts lost Run rate 2nd inngs-Wkts lost Run rate Overall-Wkts lost Run rate
      1 11 4.98 10 5.33 21 5.15
      2 11 6.55 14 6.62 25 6.59
      3 14 7.44 22 7.09 36 7.26
      4 12 6.59 6 8.22 18 7.40
      5 12 8.42 16 7.96 28 8.19
      6 9 7.29 12 7.74 21 7.51
      7 10 6.35 15 5.90 25 6.12
      8 17 6.59 20 6.62 37 6.61
      9 12 7.37 10 6.92 22 7.14
      10 9 6.94 12 7.20 21 7.07
      11 12 7.51 16 7.09 28 7.30
      12 13 7.00 10 7.11 23 7.05
      13 19 8.09 15 7.35 34 7.72
      14 13 7.53 16 8.32 29 7.92
      15 17 8.01 10 7.36 27 7.69
      16 22 7.98 18 8.98 40 8.46
      17 15 10.22 22 8.78 37 9.52
      18 37 9.50 21 9.41 58 9.46
      19 22 10.45 25 8.57 47 9.71
      20 34 12.32 24 9.49 58 11.39

    • If the focus isn't so much on the Powerplay overs, then it's shifted towards the last few. In IPL 2013, the teams batting first have scored, on average, 12.32 runs in the last over, the highest among all seasons. In the last four, they've scored 42.49, the highest of all seasons except the first one - it was 40 last year and 38 in 2011. In the last 27 matches of IPL 2013, teams batting first have averaged 14.67 runs in the last over.

    • Not only have teams scored well in the last four, they've also done so without losing too many wickets. The average runs per wickets for teams batting first in the last four this season is 20.97, again the highest of all seasons. Last year the average runs per wicket was 17.60, which means this year's average is almost 20% better.

    Over-wise run rates in the 1st innings in each IPL season
    Over No. 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
    1 4.98 4.98 6.27 6.53 5.45 5.31
    2 6.55 6.02 6.13 8.60 7.07 8.03
    3 7.44 7.56 7.58 8.13 7.36 6.77
    4 6.59 7.93 6.61 7.58 7.49 7.55
    5 8.42 7.78 7.32 8.26 8.08 8.56
    6 7.29 8.43 7.94 7.88 8.56 8.63
    7 6.35 5.77 5.82 7.10 5.87 7.10
    8 6.59 7.39 7.49 6.50 6.43 6.81
    9 7.37 6.97 7.04 7.30 6.42 6.94
    10 6.94 7.10 7.28 7.58 6.17 7.37
    11 7.51 7.93 8.02 7.05 6.12 8.34
    12 7.00 8.41 7.62 7.50 7.28 8.19
    13 8.09 7.45 7.20 7.98 7.05 6.64
    14 7.53 8.12 8.15 8.31 7.51 8.29
    15 8.01 8.63 8.88 7.98 8.41 8.98
    16 7.98 8.43 8.94 8.40 8.46 8.82
    17 10.22 9.39 8.30 9.68 9.17 9.97
    18 9.50 9.60 9.48 9.60 9.71 10.29
    19 10.45 10.54 9.96 11.04 8.87 11.46
    20 12.32 10.46 10.19 12.13 10.38 11.56

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

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    Posted by AbhishekSrilipta on (May 14, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

    Subhash: I agree with you. Thr run-rate increase is due to players like Gayle, Ab de villiers, Pollard, Miller, Dhoni and so on. Think abt Gayle not playin IPL 2013 or de villiers leavin in the middle of IPL for national duties, the whole run-rate will fall apart. Think about Watson, he contributed when he opened the innings and few ocassion dravid made him to come at no. 5 and got some fifties at quick rate. You cannot account for some batsman effort to overall stats. The stats is good but not convincing.

    Posted by subhashsah on (May 10, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

    The run rate has picked up mainly bcoz of the gayle and miller spectaculr innings

    Posted by   on (May 10, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

    It would be interesting to know if the sudden drop in run-rate in overs 6-9 and 12-15 can be attributed to the strategic time-out.It does the batting team more harm than good. Far too many batsmen have perished just after the break. Am not sure if the teams vouch for it, but it sure does add an dimension to the IPL.

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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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