Spin success, and Sri Lanka's Powerplay heroics
Sri Lanka's highest scorer of the tournament, Mahela Jayawardene, was the joint tenth-highest over the entire World Twenty20; their highest wicket-taker, Nuwan Kulasekara, was the ninth-best in the tournament. India, on the other hand, had the highest run-scorer in Virat Kohli, and the second-best wicket-taker in R Ashwin; two of their top run-getters were among the top four, and two of their leading wicket-takers were among the top six. Yet, when it came to the crunch, Sri Lanka's sum of parts was good enough to take them all the way to the title.
That none of the Sri Lankan players were closer to the top was also a reflection of the fact that different players stood up to be counted at various points in the tournament. Four batsmen scored 100 or more runs, and in the final Kumar Sangakkara, who had previously scored only 19 in four innings in the tournament, stood up with a classy unbeaten 52 in his last game in this format. Similarly, among the bowlers they had six who took four or more wickets, though none took more than eight. Sri Lanka had no stand-out performer like India had, and yet they had someone who stood up and made the key contribution almost each they needed one.
Over the entire tournament, Sri Lanka had the best differential between their scoring rate with the bat and the economy rate with the ball. They scored at 7.89 runs per over and conceded 6.64 - a difference of 1.25, the best among all teams. India were the only unbeaten side before the final, and had the same win-loss record as Sri Lanka, but the difference between their run rate and economy rate was 0.57, which was the third-best in the competition, after Sri Lanka and West Indies, who had a difference of 1.05.
Those were the only teams among ten in the main stage who had a higher run rate with the bat than economy rate with the ball. Despite losing three out of four games Netherlands weren't bad on that front, but the hosts Bangladesh had a terrible time, scoring at only 6.68 runs per over, and conceding 8.68, a difference of exactly two.
|Team||Matches||W/ L||Bat ave||Run rate||Bowl ave||Econ rate||RR - ER|
|Sri Lanka||6||5/ 1||25.21||7.89||16.89||6.64||1.25|
|West Indies||5||3/ 2||25.89||7.75||17.51||6.70||1.05|
|South Africa||5||3/ 2||26.34||8.43||23.36||8.59||-0.16|
|New Zealand||4||2/ 2||19.63||7.22||23.53||7.71||-0.49|
Sri Lanka's Powerplay heroics
Where Sri Lanka had a huge advantage over all the other teams was in the Powerplay overs, with ball in hand. Over the entire competition, they took 14 wickets in the first six, the highest among all teams - West Indies were next with 13. Sri Lanka were also the only side to concede less than five an over, on average, during the Powerplays - they gave away 4.88. The only teams which scored at more than a run a ball against them in the Powerplays were South Africa (40 for 1) and England (37 for 2); India scored 31 for 1 in the final, West Indies 30 for 2, New Zealand 23 for 4, and Netherlands 15 for 4. The pressure that Sri Lanka's bowlers exerted at the start ensured that opposition teams were on the back foot from the start.
Four Sri Lankan bowlers took three or more wickets in the first six overs: Angelo Mathews picked up four at an economy rate of 5.22, while Lasith Malinga's seven overs in this period went at only 3.71 per over. However, the stand-out figures belong to Rangana Herath: in the match against New Zealand, he bowled the fourth and sixth overs, both of which were maidens, and took three wickets. He didn't bowl during the Powerplays again in the tournament, which means his Powerplay bowling figures for the tournament read: 2-2-0-3.
India did well with the Powerplays too, thanks to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the spinners. They went at 5.47 per over, and picked up 11 wickets at 17.90. At the other end of the scale were Bangladesh, England and South Africa, who struggled to take wickets in the Powerplays and went for a fair number of runs too. Bangladesh took only two wickets in the Powerplays during the main stage of the competition, while South Africa leaked 9.30 runs per over.
Spin trumps pace again
Overall, this was a memorable tournament for spinners, with several of them playing key roles for their sides. Among the top six wicket-takers in the competition, four were spinners - Imran Tahir, Samuel Badree, R Ashwin and Amit Mishra. They bowled a fair amount in all the different stages of an innings, and came away with impressive numbers at each stage: in the Powerplays their combined economy rate was marginally better than that of the seamers, in the middle overs the difference was more substantial, while in the last five overs spinners gave away two runs fewer per over than the seamers, and also had a better bowling average.
|0.1 to 6.0||125||33||25.81||6.81||292.2||70||28.68||6.86|
|6.1 to 15.0||361.5||100||24.76||6.84||231.2||55||31.43||7.47|
|15.1 to 20||66.1||34||14.08||7.23||198.1||92||20.11||9.34|
The dot-ball factor
Among the batsmen who faced at least 70 balls in the main stage of the competition, the batsman who faced the lowest percentage of dot balls was Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad: he faced 85 balls of which only 20 were dots, a percentage of 23.53. Mathews was next with a percentage of 25.71, followed by Umar Akmal's 27.47. However, Kohli sustained his low dot-ball percentage over a much longer period: he faced 247 balls, of which only 68 were dots, a percentage of 27.53.
The batsman with the highest percentage of dot balls was Dwayne Smith, who played 72 dots out of the 118 balls he faced, a percentage of 61. Yuvraj Singh, who struggled through most of the tournament, had a dot percentage of 45.10, which was similar to the percentages for Chris Gayle (45.11), Sangakkara (45.07) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (44.80).
|Batsman||Runs||Balls||Average||Run rate||Dot %|
|AB de Villiers||129||79||32.25||9.79||27.85|
|Shakib Al Hasan||105||87||26.25||7.24||36.78|
Comparing the World T20s
The fifth edition of the World Twenty20 had overall numbers which were very similar to the last three, in terms of average runs per wicket and average runs per over. In the entire tournament, teams scored 22.78 runs per wicket and 7.53 per over; excluding the qualifiers, the corresponding numbers were 23.20 and 7.65. The run rate was nearly eight an over in the first World Twenty20, in South Africa in 2007, but since then the stats for each tournament have been remarkably similar.
There were exactly 300 sixes in the tournament, the highest in any World Twenty20, but then there were also more matches played this time - 35, compared to 27 in the previous editions.
|Edition||Average||Run rate||Balls per 4||Balls per 6||200+ scores|
|2014 - overall||22.78||7.53||9.07||25.79||0|
|2014 - main stage||23.20||7.65||8.95||24.81||0|
Given that the tournament was hosted in Bangladesh, it was hardly a surprise that spin played a key role. The teams that did well were all those in which spinners had a huge impact: India's spinners took 27 wickets, West Indies' 20 and Sri Lanka's 15. On the other hand, the spinners for Australia and New Zealand picked up only four wickets, while England had one wicket by a spinner in the entire tournament.
Overall, spinners bowled about 43% of the total overs in the tournament - similar to the percentages in the last two tournaments - showing that teams have generally recognised the value of slow bowling in this format as well.
|Overs||Ave||Econ rate||Overs||Ave||Econ rate||Spin % overs|
|2014 - overall||553.0||22.79||6.88||721.5||25.75||7.74||43.05|
|2014 - main stage||361.5||23.97||6.95||486.3||25.04||7.87||42.65|
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter