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Data: 2024 T20 World Cup Holds the Record for Lowest Average Number of Runs per Match

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The 2024 T20 World Cup was the one to remember for the Bowlers. New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson bowled four maiden overs with ‘Zero’ economy rate in the league match against Papua New Guinea in the 2024 T20 WC, a feat that is most unique and a difficult one to repeat. Data indicates that the 2024 T20 World Cup now holds the record for the lowest average number of runs per match among all T20 World Cups.

India emerged as the world champion in the recently concluded 9th edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty-Twenty (T20) World Cup 2024 (2024 WC), held in the United States of America (USA) and West Indies. This was much-awaited as India won the championship after a long gap of 17 years since its victory as champions in the first-ever T20 World Cup held in South Africa (SA) in 2007. Veteran Indian players Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja announced their retirements from the T20 format soon after the final victory.

For the first time, this edition of WC also saw the highest number of matches played, and the inclusion of new teams like Papua New Guinea, compared to the previous editions of the T20 WCs. In addition, it also saw an ICC tournament held for the first time in the USA, with 16 of the total 55 matches played in the country.

Compared to the other T20 WCs, the 2024 WC saw multiple records broken. In this story, we look at some of the key statistics and records from the nine T20 WCs held so far. 

Methodology

The data for the story is sourced from Dataful, which has curated comprehensive datasets on bowling, batting, scoreboards, and other data and records of all the T20 WCs.

Number of Participating Teams and Matches Increased Consistently

The number of matches played in the T20 WCs has significantly increased over the years. The 2024 T20 World Cup set a new record with 55 matches, almost double the number played in the inaugural 2007 edition. From 2007 to 2012, each of the four WCs featured 10 teams and a total of 27 matches. Starting from the 2014 WC, the number of competing teams increased to 16. The 2014 and 2016 tournaments had 35 matches each, while the 2021 and 2022 editions saw 45 matches each. In the recent 2024 WC, the number of competing teams increased to 20 and the total number of matches played rose to 55. Thus, from 2007 to 2024, the T20 WCs have seen an upward trend in both the number of matches and the number of competing teams. 

India Registers Most Wins across T20 WCs

In the 2024 WC, India set a record by going unbeaten throughout the tournament, a feat never achieved in T20 WC history. Additionally, India has emerged as the team with the most wins across all WCs, with 36 victories. They are closely followed by Sri Lanka with 33 wins, South Africa with 32, Australia with 30, and Pakistan with 29.

Furthermore, with their second title in the 2024 championship, India now shares the record for the most T20 WC titles with England and West Indies.

Average Runs scored per match across T20 WCs show declining trends; 2024 WC witnessed least

Across the nine T20 WCs held so far, a total of 323 matches have been played, with 13 matches resulting in no outcomes due to various reasons. Of the remaining 310 matches, 147 were won by teams batting second, 158 by teams batting first, and 5 were decided in super overs. Teams batting first have scored a cumulative 46,790 runs, while those batting second have scored 40,003 runs.

In the inaugural 2007 WC, a total of 7,881 runs were scored, averaging 292 runs per match. In the 2009 and 2010 WCs held in England and the West Indies, this average declined to 282 and 275 runs per match, respectively. The average slightly increased in the 2012, 2014, and 2016 WCs held in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India, with 276, 277, and 278 runs per match, respectively. However, from 2021 onwards, there has been a noticeable decline, with averages of 270, 264, and 235 runs per match in the 2021, 2022, and 2024 WCs held in Oman/UAE, Australia, and the West Indies/USA, respectively.

Notably, the 2024 WC, recorded the lowest average runs per match, attributed to bowling-friendly conditions. The 2024 tournament also scored the lowest average runs by teams batting first (127 runs per match) and second (108 runs per match). The highest averages were seen in the 2007 World Cup, with teams batting first averaging 154 runs and teams batting second averaging 137 runs per match. The numbers show a gradual decline in the average number of runs scored per match over the years in T20 WCs.

Strike Rates also Lower in 2024 WC

In addition to recording the lowest number of runs, the 2024 WC also witnessed the fewest instances of batsmen scoring at a strike rate of over 150 (of those who faced 30 or more balls). In the inaugural 2007 WC, batsmen achieved this feat 14 times, averaging 0.52 instances per match over 27 matches. The 2016 and 2021 WCs had the highest occurrences in this category, with 27 and 18 instances, averaging 0.60 and 0.67 times per match, respectively.

However, the 2024 WC saw only 20 instances of batsmen scoring at a strike rate of over 150, averaging just 0.36 times per match. This makes the 2024 WC the lowest in terms of high strike rate performances among batsmen who faced 30 or more balls across all nine editions of the tournament. So, even by strike rates, the 2024 WC ranks the lowest among all the T20 WCs held so far.

2024 WC records highest number of Maidens bowled & average Maidens per match

Across the T20 WCs, a total of 141 bowlers had bowled 152 maiden overs, including those who have bowled multiple maidens in one or more matches. Among these, 130 bowlers had bowled a single maiden over each while 9 bowled two maiden overs each. None of them bowled 3 maidens. However, New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson bowled four maiden overs with a ‘Zero’ economy rate in the league match against Papua New Guinea in the 2024 T20 WC, a feat that is the most unique and difficult one to repeat. 

Among the bowlers who bowled two maiden overs are three Sri Lankans, Ajantha Mendis in the 2012 WC, Rangana Herath, and Nuwan Kulasekara in the 2014 WC, and two Indians, Harbhajan Singh in the 2012 WC and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in 2022 WC. Additionally, Shaun Tait of Australia, Graeme Swann of England, and Frank Nsubuga of Uganda achieved this feat once each in the 2010, 2012, and 2024 WCs, respectively.

Out of the total 152 maiden overs across the T20 World Cups, the 2024 WC set a new record with 44 maidens, surpassing the previous best of 21 maidens recorded in the 2012 World Cup. The 2021 and 2022 WCs each saw 17 maidens each, while the 2007 WC had 15. If one compares the number of matches played in each tournament, the 2024 WC ranks top with an average of 0.8 maiden overs per match, surpassing the previous best in 2012 WC, which averaged 0.77 maiden overs per match.

Number of Dots, Singles, Twos, Triples and Fours conceded are lowest in 2024 WC, while Sixes hit stand second highest

The 2024 WC registered an average of 66 singles, 12 twos, 1 three, and 18 fours per match, one of the lowest among the T20 WCs. The 2021 WC with 84 singles, the 2022 WC with 19 twos and 2 threes, and the 2009 WC with 25 fours per match stand as the highest across the WCs among these categories. 

Even in terms of the average number of dots bowled per match, the 2024 WC is highest with 94 dot balls, followed by the 2014 WC with 93 dots, and the 2010 and 2012 WCs with 89 dots each.

However, the 2024 WC ranks second in the average number of sixes per match with 9, following the 2010 WC and the 2007 WC with about 10 sixes per match. The 2009 WC had the lowest average of sixes with 6 per match.

The numbers reveal that the 2024 T20 WC was dominated by bowling performances and low-scoring patterns, unlike the previous editions of the tournament.

Bowling-dominated T20 WCs are a Welcome Phenomenon

The T20 format in cricket, which is popularly conceived as a batsman’s game, has become extremely popular across countries within a short period with leagues, franchise cricket, national and international tournaments, etc. 

The fact that the number of runs scored across T20 WCs has shown declining trends, unlike what is witnessed in the ODI WCs, is a welcome phenomenon, especially with the multiple bowling records in the 2024 T20 WC. It is noteworthy that across T20 WCs, 8 out of the 12 occasions where bowlers who bowled more than 2 overs conceded less than 2 runs per over are from in the 2024 T20 WC.

Featured Image: T20 World Cup

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