Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's

Top-order batting gives Sri Lanka an edge

Cricinfo looks at the important numbers ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 final

S Rajesh

June 20, 2009

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The path to the final has been quite a contrast for the two teams, with Sri Lanka winning six in a row and Pakistan losing two along the way, but none of that will matter when the two teams clash for the title in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 final at Lord's on Sunday. Cricinfo looks at the important numbers ahead of that final.

The overall numbers

Sri Lanka have been consistency personified in the tournament so far, winning all six games, and are only another victory away from equalling South Africa's record of seven wins in a row. Standing in their way, though, is a resurgent Pakistan outfit, who have shrugged off two defeats early in the tournament, and were particularly impressive in their semi-final win against South Africa.

The form book still favours Sri Lanka, but not by much. They have been the better team with the bat so far, with a higher average and run rate, while there's little to choose between the bowling efforts of the two teams. Sri Lanka have taken 50 wickets so far - the highest by any team in the tournament - while Pakistan are second-best with 46, but there's hardly any difference between the bowling averages and the economy rates of the two teams.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the tournament so far
Team Bat average Run rate Bowl average Econ rate Diff in ave Diff in R rate
Pakistan 25.02 7.51 17.15 6.80 7.87 0.71
Sri Lanka 27.48 8.08 16.26 7.09 11.22 0.99

The first six overs

Thanks largely to Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka are clearly the better batting team at the start of the innings, scoring plenty of runs, and doing so without losing too many wickets. Dilshan has scored 317 runs so far - the highest in the tournament - of which 156 have come in the first six overs. He has only been dismissed once during this period, which gives him a fantastic average of 156, at a strike rate of 9.73 runs per over during the Powerplay overs. In comparison, Sanath Jayasuriya has a strike rate of 6.70 in the first six. Dilshan has hammered 25 fours in the 90 balls he has faced in the Powerplays, and how Pakistan control him early in the innings could have a huge bearing on Sunday's result.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have been sluggish at the start, averaging only 7.38 runs per over in the first six, which is less than the rate at which they have conceded runs during this period. As the table below indicates, Sri Lanka have generally taken the initiative at the start, while Pakistan have relied on fightbacks in the later overs to make up for lost ground in the early part of the innings.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the first six overs
Team Bat average Run rate Bowl average Econ rate Diff in ave Diff in r rate
Pakistan 24.18 7.38 34.87 7.75 -10.69 -0.37
Sri Lanka 63.20 8.77 23.72 7.25 39.48 1.52

The middle eight overs (7-14)

This is where Pakistan have generally begun their fightback. The batting has been solid, while the bowlers have taken 18 wickets, the highest by any team during the middle overs. Sri Lanka's bowlers have been effective too, with 15 wickets at an excellent economy rate, but their batsmen have tended to lose the momentum of the early overs, averaging less than seven runs per over.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the middle eight overs
Team Bat average Run rate Bowl average Econ rate Diff in ave Diff in r rate
Pakistan 38.44 7.33 16.33 6.12 22.11 1.21
Sri Lanka 27.75 6.93 19.26 6.02 8.49 0.91

The last six overs

Pakistan have been outstanding with the ball during this period, taking 20 wickets at an exceptional economy rate of less than seven runs per over. Sri Lanka have taken more wickets during this period - 24 - but they've also gone at more than eight-and-a-half per over. Both teams have had exceptional bowlers to handle the final overs: Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal and Lasith Malinga have all taken eight wickets at sub-ten averages and excellent economy rates (5.25 for Ajmal, 5.55 for Gul, and 7.44 for Malinga).

Sri Lanka have been the better team, though, averaging almost one run more per over (8.94 to 7.96).

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the last six overs
Team Bat average Run rate Bowl average Econ rate Diff in ave Diff in r rate
Pakistan 17.07 7.96 10.80 6.75 6.27 1.21
Sri Lanka 17.38 8.94 10.95 8.57 6.43 0.37

Partnership stats

The table below again illustrates how important the opening partnership has been for Sri Lanka: they've scored 300 runs at an average of 50 and a rate of 8.57 per over, which is far superior to Pakistan's effort at the top of the order. Pakistan's best efforts have been for the second and fourth wickets, while Sri Lanka have slipped up slightly during these periods. Overall, though, Sri Lanka have had far more meaningful partnerships than Pakistan - seven half-century and one century stand for the Lankans, compared to just three fifty partnerships for Pakistan.

Wicket-wise partnerships for Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Wicket Pak - ave stand Run rate 100s/ 50s SL - ave stand Run rate 100s/ 50s
First 22.16 7.18 0/ 0 50.00 8.57 1/ 2
Second 31.66 8.44 0/ 0 21.50 7.16 0/ 1
Third 18.33 6.60 0/ 1 32.00 7.43 0/ 2
Fourth 39.16 7.87 0/ 2 27.83 8.35 0/ 2
Fifth 24.00 7.02 0/ 0 20.00 8.45 0/ 0
Sixth 22.00 7.54 0/ 0 28.00 9.33 0/ 0

Run-scoring patterns

Contrary to what one might expect, Pakistan have played out fewer dot balls, taken more singles, twos and threes, and hit fewer boundaries. Sri Lanka have struck 107 fours to 69 for Pakistan, though Pakistan are slightly ahead in the sixes tally (17 to 14). Dilshan alone has smashed 46 fours, the highest in the tournament - Jacques Kallis, in second place, has 28.

How Pakistan and Sri Lanka have scored their runs
Team Dot balls Percentage 1s, 2s, 3s Percentage 4s & 6s Percentage
Pakistan 241 35.49 351 51.69 86 12.66
Sri Lanka 272 38.09 321 44.96 121 16.95

Sri Lanka have also bowled more dot balls at their opponents, though Pakistan have been more stingy in terms of conceding boundaries.

How Pakistan and Sri Lanka have conceded their runs
Team Dot balls Percentage 1s, 2s, 3s Percentage 4s & 6s Percentage
Pakistan 294 42.24 326 46.84 76 10.92
Sri Lanka 305 44.33 291 42.30 91 13.23

The extras factor

Pakistan have bowled eight no-balls to just three by Sri Lanka, with Gul and Sohail Tanvir each contributing three. Sri Lanka have been guilty of conceding more wides, though - 28, to 24 by Pakistan. Malinga leads the tally with 12, while Isuru Udana and Gul have bowled seven each.

Bat first or field first?

Both teams have shown a clear preference for batting first and then putting the pressure on the opposition with their incisive bowling attacks. Five out of Sri Lanka's six wins have come when batting first (the only exception was against Australia, when they chased down 160), while Pakistan have won every time they have batted first. Of the three occasions when they have batted second, they have lost twice, with the only win coming against New Zealand. Given that it'll be a high-pressure game on Sunday, it's almost certain the team winning the toss will choose to bat first.

Head-to-head

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have played each other four times in Twenty20 internationals, and each team has won twice. This includes a meeting in a final, of a four-nation tournament in Canada, which Sri Lanka won by five wickets.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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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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