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Ask Steven

Was England's 19-ball victory against Oman the quickest in a T20I?

And what is the lowest score successfully defended in a T20I?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
18-Jun-2024
Kagiso Rabada struck early to dismiss Tanzid Hasan, Bangladesh vs South Africa, T20 World Cup 2024, New York, June 10, 2024

South Africa's 113 against Bangladesh in 2024 is the lowest total successfully defended in a men's T20 World Cup  •  Getty Images

What's the lowest score successfully defended in an uninterrupted T20 match? asked Brian Matthews from England
The lowest total that was enough to win a seniormen's T20 game in which both sides had the full 20 overs at their disposal is 78, by Himachal Pradesh in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match in Rohtak in India in 2013: they then bowled Services out for 77 to win by one run. The previous record was set in the same competition in 2010 in Vadodara, Maharashtra were bowled out for 81, but then skittled a Saurashtra side including Cheteshwar Pujara, who had just made his Test debut, for 67.
The men's T20 international record was set in Lagos in October 2021: Nigeria made only 90, but skittled Sierra Leone for 71. In Kingston in February 2014, West Indies managed only 96 for 9 in their 20 overs, but restricted Ireland to 85 for eight.
When India (119) restricted Pakistan (113 for 7) to win in New York last week, they equalled the record for the lowest total successfully defended in the T20 World Cup, set by Sri Lanka (119) when they defeated New Zealand (60) in Chattogram in March 2014. But a new record was set the day after India's exciting win, also at Nassau County in New York, when South Africa (113 for 6) beat Bangladesh (109 for 7).
Namibia's David Wiese both batted and bowled in the Super Over after their T20 World Cup tie against Oman. Has this happened before? asked Matthew Behan from England
Namibia's 39-year-old allrounder David Wiese scored 13 of his side's 21 runs in the Super Over after their T20 World Cup match against Oman in Bridgetown on June 2 was tied at 109 apiece. He then returned to the bowling crease, ensuring victory by conceding only four runs from the first five balls, before the last delivery went for six.
I couldn't instantly remember any similar occurrences, but actually there have been three, one of them in an earlier T20 World Cup: in Pallekele in October 2012, West Indies' Marlon Samuels conceded 17 runs from the Super Over against New Zealand, but then helped Chris Gayle collect the winning runs.
The other instances were by Shahid Afridi for Pakistan against England in Sharjah in November 2015, and Singapore's captain Janak Prakash against Bahrain in Bangi (Malaysia) in December 2022.
There's also one case in an ODI: in Harare in 2023, Logan van Beek of the Netherlands smashed 30 off Jason Holder in the super over, then grabbed the ball and took two for eight.
England reached their target against Oman the other day in 3.1 overs. Was this the quickest victory in a T20I? asked David Northall from England
England overhauled Oman's modest total of 47 in Antigua the other day in just 3.1 overs, helped when Phil Salt smashed the first two deliveries of their innings for six (he was then out, for 12 in three balls).
This was the quickest victory by a Test-playing nation in a T20I, beating the five overs it took Sri Lanka to overhaul the Netherlands' total of 39 in the World Cup in Chattogram in March 2014. Bangladesh also reached their target in five overs against Pakistan in the bronze-medal match at the Asian Games in Hangzhou (China) last October , but that had been reduced by rain to a five-over match.
There have been nine quicker wins by non-Test nations in T20I, including one by Oman (in 2.5 overs against the Philippines in Al Amerat in February 2022). The quickest of all came in Cartagena in February 2023: after bowling the Isle of Man out for 10 (with six ducks), Spain reached their target in just two legal deliveries. After George Burrows started with a no-ball, Awais Ahmed hit the next two for six.
I believe Sunil Gavaskar scored the most Test runs as an opener. Does he also have the highest average when opening? asked Milind Chandrasekharan from India
Sunil Gavaskar did hold the record for most Test runs by an opener for many years, but he was eventually overtaken by England's Alastair Cook, who passed Gavaskar's 9607 runs in July 2016, and finished with 11,845 from the top of the order. The South African Graeme Smith is third with 9030.
Gavaskar averaged 50.40 when opening, a remarkable effort considering how much of his career was against the fearsome West Indian pacemen of the time. Of batters who opened at least 20 times in Tests, only 16 have averaged 50 or more. That includes current players in Usman Khawaja (54.03) and Rohit Sharma (50.03).
Highest of all - and the only man who averaged more than 57 when opening - is England's Herbert Sutcliffe, who averaged 61.10 while scoring 4522 runs as an opener in 54 Tests between 1924 and 1935.
Next comes the South African Bruce Mitchell with 56.90, just ahead of two famous Englishmen in Len Hutton (56.47) and Jack Hobbs (56.37).
Further to the recent question about bowlers taking the first nine wickets in a Test innings, there was another near miss in Pakistan in 2000, when Saqlain Mushtaq took the first eight wickets to fall, only to be denied a shot at all ten by a declaration. Are there any other cases like this? asked R Jayanth from India
The match you're talking about was the first Test of England's 2000-01 tour of Pakistan, which ended with a famous victory in the twilight in the third Test in Karachi. But a few weeks earlier, in Lahore, England had ground their way to 480 for 8, with offspinner Saqlain Mushtaq taking all eight wickets to fall (he finished with figures of 74-20-164-8). Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed were among his wicketless colleagues. I don't think it was a case of England's captain Nasser Hussain declaring to deny Saqlain a shot at glory: he closed the innings at lunch on the third day, after 800 minutes and 196 overs (Bazball it was not).
There are no other instances of a bowler taking the only eight wickets to fall in a Test innings, or even all seven. When New Zealand made 200 for 6 against South Africa in Wellington in 2011-12, the tall fast bowler Morne Morkel finished with 6 for 23.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes