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Ask Steven

What's the most runs scored by a side in the last four overs to win a T20I?

And what's the highest score by a No. 11 in ODIs and T20Is?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
New Zealand made 57 in the death overs against England last week, and they did it with an over to spare  •  Getty Images

New Zealand made 57 in the death overs against England last week, and they did it with an over to spare  •  Getty Images

What's the most runs scored by a country in the last four overs to win a T20I? Did New Zealand come close to the record against England? asked Derek Sanderson from England
New Zealand needed 57 with four overs to go in their semi-final against England in Dubai last week - and got them, with no fewer than six balls to spare. That wasn't just close to the top, it was the most runs ever successfully chased down in the last four overs of a T20I, according to ESPNcricinfo's database (which is missing some matches involving lesser teams).
There had been two previous T20Is in which a team scored 56 inside the last four overs to win. Australia did it against Pakistan in the semi-final of the 2010 World T20 in St Lucia - mainly thanks to Michael Hussey, who thrashed 60 not out off 24 balls from No. 7 - and they were followed by Zimbabwe against Scotland in Edinburgh in September 2021. (Note that Australia actually scored 61 runs, and Scotland 58 - but the target from the last four overs was only 56, whereas New Zealand needed 57.)
In all, the database throws up 148 T20Is in which the side batting second needed to score between 50 and 60 from the last four overs. On only 14 occasions has such a target been reached; the other semi-final of this T20 World Cup, between Australia and Pakistan in Dubai the day after New Zealand's heist, was the last of those instances.
KL Rahul took seven catches against England at Trent Bridge in 2018. Was this a record for a Test match? asked Sharif Ahmed from India
KL Rahul's haul against England at Trent Bridge in 2018 made him the sixth outfielder to take seven catches in a single Test, following Greg Chappell (Australia) in 1974-75, Yajurvindra Singh (on debut for India in 1976-77), Hashan Tillakaratne (Sri Lanka) in 1992-93, Stephen Fleming (New Zealand) in 1997-98, and Matthew Hayden (Australia) in 2003-04.
But the overall record is held by Rahul's India team-mate Ajinkya Rahane, who held on to eight catches in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2015.
Akshay Karnewar of Vidarbha did not concede a single run in his four overs in a recent domestic T20 match in India. Has anyone else ever done this? asked Baskar Raghavan from India
The Vidarbha spinner Akshay Karnewar became the first man ever to bowl four overs in a senior T20 match without conceding a run against Manipur in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match in Mangalagiri on November 8, finishing with 4-4-0-2. But he was joined just yesterday by Canada's slow left-armer Saeed Bin Zafar, who sent down four maidens in a World Cup qualifier against Panama in Coolidge in Antigua.
The record was previously held by the lofty Pakistan left-arm seamer Mohammad Irfan, with 4-3-1-2 for Barbados Tridents against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League in Bridgetown in August 2018.
Before Zafar's runless spell yesterday, the record for T20Is was three runs (and two wickets) by Mohammed Aslam, for Kuwait against Saudi Arabia in Al Amerat in February 2020; Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath took 5 for 3 in 3.3 overs against New Zealand in the World T20 in Chittagong (now Chattogram) in March 2014. For the list of the most economical spells in T20 matches, click here.
Two women have bowled four overs for no runs in T20Is: Blessing Etim also took four wickets for Nigeria against Cameroon in Gaborone in September 2021, while Perice Kamunya had figures of 4-4-0-0 for Tanzania against Mali in Kigali in June 2019.
What's the highest score by a No. 11 in ODIs and T20Is? asked Christopher Thompson from England
The only half-century by a No. 11 in one-day internationals is Mohammad Amir's 58 for Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2016. It only narrowed the margin of defeat to 169 runs, as England had earlier amassed 444 for 3, the record ODI total at the time. Next comes Shoaib Akhtar's 43, also for Pakistan vs England, in Cape Town during the 2003 World Cup.
The highest by a No. 11 in T20Is is 31 not out, by Khalid Ahmadi of Belgium against Malta in Marsa in July 2021. His innings helped Belgium recover from 74 for 9 to 128, which looked enough when Malta were bowled out for 125 - but they then received five penalty runs following a disciplinary breach by Belgium's captain, which meant they won the match. There have been three other scores of 20 by No. 11s in T20Is.
I was amazed by the scorecard in the match mentioned in one of last week's questions, in which the Maldives women's team was bowled out for 8, with only one run off the bat and nine ducks. Is that the lowest total in internationals? asked Kelvin Marshall from Australia
There have been two lower totals than that Maldives innings, which was against Nepal in Pokhara in the South Asian Games in December 2019. Two days previously, in the same competition in Pokhara, Maldives had managed only 6 - three of their batters got off the mark, though - against Bangladesh, after that team ran up 255 for 2. That equalled Mali's total of 6, against Rwanda in Kigali in June 2019.
The lowest in men's T20Is is Turkey's 21 in Ilfov County in Romania in August 2019. That came against the Czech Republic, who had earlier equalled the record T20I total of 278.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes