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Stats Analysis

Stats - It's been a bowlers' World Cup, but that might change now

Despite bowlers dominating, this is only the third men's T20 World Cup with three or more 200-plus totals, with two of them coming in Gros Islet in St Lucia

Rishabh Pant's stumps are knocked out by Ali Khan, USA vs India, T20 World Cup 2024, New York, June 12, 2024

Batting was far from easy in the USA leg of the T20 World Cup  •  ICC/Getty Images

The first 40 matches of T20 World Cup 2024 - the first round, basically - are over. Eight teams are in the next round, the Super Eight, while 12 have been knocked out. How did that first round go? We know run-scoring was tough, but how tough? And how does it compare to previous editions of the men's T20 World Cup? These numbers will tell you.

The bowlers' World Cup

Yeah, so far it is the lowest-scoring T20 World Cup ever, with a run rate of 6.71 across 37 completed matches in the Group Stage. The previous lowest was 7.43 in 2021, 0.72 runs per over higher than this one.
A wicket has fallen every 17.80 runs, also the lowest at a T20 World Cup. That's 3.62 runs fewer than the previous mark of 21.42 in 2010 and 2022.
Boundaries - fours as well as sixes - came every 8.1 balls, the slowest at a T20 World Cup.
The top-order batters (1 to 3) averaged 18.19 runs per dismissal, 5.54 runs fewer than at any other T20 World Cup. They struck at 110.44, which is by far the lowest at a T20 World Cup.
Also, every seventh innings by a batter in the top-three positions was a duck, but it took nearly 14 innings for a half-century.

Pacers rule in America, spinners have fun in the Caribbean

The venues in the USA were a dream for the quick bowlers as they bagged 125 wickets in the 13 matches played across New York, Dallas and Florida. They averaged 17.50 in those games while going at an economy of just 5.94. The spinners got to bowl only a fourth of the total overs in the USA and took 34 wickets at 21.6.
Spinners did much better in the West Indies. They took 116 wickets across 24 matches at an average of 19.46 and an economy rate of 6.61, and had six four-wicket hauls, including a five-for. The fast bowlers were relatively more expensive in the West Indies with an economy rate of 6.87, but they had better numbers when it came to taking wickets - 181 at an average of 17.52.

Dot balls and maiden overs galore

Lockie Ferguson signed off his - and New Zealand's - campaign at the World Cup with an unbreakable record against Papua New Guinea - bowling 24 dot balls and finishing with four maidens, while also picking up three wickets.
Before the 2024 edition, the fewest runs conceded in four overs at a World Cup game was eight, while Kemar Roach and Ajantha Mendis had bowled 20 dot balls in a game each.
The mark of 20 dot balls was replicated eight times in 2024 - Ottniel Baartman, Frank Nsubuga, Adil Rashid, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ferguson (vs Uganda), Mohammad Amir and Mustafizur Rahman all did it. Tanzim Hasan went one further by bowling 21 dots against Nepal, a record which lasted about half a day, with Ferguson topping it.
The previous record for the fewest runs conceded in four overs at the T20 World Cup was bettered as many as seven times in this tournament. The first eight editions had 11 instances of a bowler conceding less than ten runs in a match in a four-over spell. But 2024 has already witnessed 12 of those, including three in the same innings.
The count of maiden overs bowled in the tournament is also high - 38 in 37 matches. It is already 17 more than the previous highest of 21 maidens in 2012 across 27 games. All told, 26.03 % of the total maiden overs bowled at T20 World Cups have come in the 2024 edition.

Small totals can be big enough

Only one team had successfully defended a total of less than 120 in a full 20-over game in the first eight T20 World Cups - 119 by Sri Lanka in 2014 against New Zealand, courtesy Rangana Herath's magical spell of 3.2-2-3-5. That has been topped four times in 2024 already.
First, Pakistan failed to chase down India's 119 in New York after being 72 for 2 in 12 overs.
The next day, South Africa defended 113 for 6 against Bangladesh, also in New York, to break the record for the lowest total defended in a T20 World Cup.
Five days later, South Africa survived a scare against Nepal in Kingstown, where they successfully defended 115 for 7.
The record changed hands again when Bangladesh beat Nepal in Kingstown by 21 runs despite being bowled out for only 106.
Although this did not result in a win, Oman held Namibia to a tie while defending 109 in Bridgetown. Namibia, however, picked up the points from the match by winning the Super Over.

Sub-100s the norm

Teams getting bowled out under 100 runs became quite normal at this World Cup - there have been 12 such instances so far. The previous highest instance of this in any edition was eight, in 2014 and 2021, while no other edition had more than four.
Three of the five sub-50 totals recorded in T20 World Cup history have also come in 2024, two of which were by debutants Uganda.
Contrary to the perception that this tournament hasn't produced many high totals, it is only the third T20 World Cup with three or more 200-plus totals. Two 200-plus totals came in the last two days of the group stage - in Gros Islet in St Lucia.
The inaugural edition had five 200-plus totals, while the 2016 edition had four. No team could breach the 200-run mark in the 2010 and 2014 editions.
Australia became the first team to reach that milestone in 2024 with 201 for 7 against England, which happened to be Australia's first 200-plus total at a T20 World Cup.
Sri Lanka matched Australia's effort with 201 for 6 against Netherlands, their first 200-plus total at the competition since the 260 for 6 against Kenya in their first match in 2007.
West Indies topped both with their highest T20 World Cup total - 218 for 5 against Afghanistan.

Sampath Bandarupalli is a statistician at ESPNcricinfo