Batting under pressure in T20

Impact Index assess numerous factors before arriving at their final outcome.

And here are the batsmen with the highest Pressure IMPACT numbers in the history of T20 domestic matches (minimum 15 matches).

1. A Flower (Pressure IMPACT 0.29, 20 matches)
2. MN Waller (0.25, 21)
3. Umar Amin (0.23, 24)
4. Bhavik Thaker (0.22, 17)
5. N Behera (0.21, 16)

Most of Andy Flower's T20 matches came at a time the format was being experimented with at the English domestic level and his records in the same are quite commendable. Another Zimbabwean on this list is Malcolm Waller who has had a brilliant run in the last two-three seasons of Zimbabwean domestic cricket and has also impressed in his international stint so far. He showed his ability to absorb pressure in the ODI format as well when he slammed 99 not out off 74 balls to help Zimbabwe chase down 329 in a dramatic game against New Zealand.

One of the most talked about batting prospects in Pakistan, Umar Amin finds himself on this list because of his success in his role as a finisher for the Rawalpindi Rams in the Pakistani domestic T20 cup. Bhavik Thaker who is an experienced campaigner for Gujarat is present on this list while Niranjan Behera of Orissa (a high impact T20 player in the Indian domestic scene) also finds a mention here. Both of them have been the mainstay of their respective teams' relatively weak middle order and hence more often than not steered their teams out of perilous situations.

The Five Highest Impact Pressure Performances in T20 domestic history:

1) YK Pathan 89 off 42 v Gujarat in Vadodara, 2010 - Pressure IMPACT 2.91

Chasing 129 against Gujarat, Baroda were expected to cruise to victory. However, a top order collapse ensued when Yousuf Pathan stepped in with Baroda at 2-2 after 0.4 overs. Soon the situation worsened and Baroda stuttered to 29-6 at the end of 7 overs. Pathan however took charge and finished with a match-winning knock of 89 runs off just 42 balls. He scored 68% of the total runs scored by Baroda and did it in his own destructive manner.

Apart from Yousuf, the top 7 batsmen for Baroda collectively scored only 6 runs which again goes on to show the amount of pressure generated on Pathan. Out of the 119 runs that were scored by Baroda during Pathan's stay at the crease 89 of them were scored by him even as wickets fell around him in a heap. His Chasing IMPACT of 1.69 is also amongst the highest in the history of T20 cricket.

2) JC Tredwell 34 off 28 v Middlesex in Canterbury, 2011 - Pressure IMPACT 2.90

Put into bat by Middlesex on a sluggish wicket against a seaming ball the Kent top order capitulated and were reduced to 21-6 in 7 overs. Even though Tredwell is not particularly known for his batting skills this was one occasion where he defied the norms and came out on top against the bowlers. His batting was steady if not brilliant and alongwith Geraint Jones and Wahab Riaz managed to push Kent's total to a challenging 115.

After the first 7 disastrous overs, Kent under Tredwell scored 94 runs off the last 13 and lost only 3 more wickets. Tredwell's innings contained two huge sixes, one of which managed to blow a hole through one of the advertisement hoardings in the deep mid-wicket boundary. His knock of 34 runs in this innings is still his personal best in T20 cricket. Kent won by 9 runs in the end.

3) RE van der Merwe 70 off 49 v Zimbabwe in Centurion, 2008 - Pressure IMPACT 2.88

Batting first Zimbabwe posted a respectable score of 151-6 in 20 overs against Titans in this Standard Bank Pro 20 series match. Coming into the chase, Titans had a horrific start and were soon stuttering at 10-5 for 5 overs when R van der Merwe came in to bat. With nine hits to the boundary and one over it, van der Merwe gave the Titans chase an impetus and suddenly out of nowhere the chase was on.

The batsmen on the other side of van der Merwe though had no plans to entertain his knock and more often than not made a bee line to their own dressing rooms. Even though van der Merwe played a blistering innings of 70 runs off 49 balls, it was eventually not enough for the Titans as they lost the contest by 13 runs. Out of the 129 runs that were scored by Titans during van der Merwe's stay, he had scored 70 out of them. The next highest scorer in the innings after van der Merwe was Phangiso with his 18 runs.

4) GO Jones 27 off 32 v Middlesex in Canterbury, 2011 - Pressure IMPACT 2.70

Earlier in this article we mentioned of Tredwell's highest Pressure IMPACT innings knock against Middlesex in which he scored a match winning 34* off 28 balls. In the same innings of that particular match, another high Pressure IMPACT innings was played out by Kent's wicket keeper Geraint Jones. Jones came in to bat when Kent were 18-5 in 5.4 overs and alongwith Tredwell built a partnership of 35 runs in 34 balls. In the context of Kent's innings that was almost 30% of the total runs scored and goes on to show how both of them absorbed pressure considerably after the early jolts. Even though Jones didn't play a blinder of an innings he made sure that Kent got to a platform from where Tredwell could tee off, which he successfully did at the end.

5) R Elahi 42 off 46 v Madhya Pradesh in Jaipur, 2007 - Pressure IMPACT 2.64

The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur is considered to be a tailor-made pitch for the batsmen and has a habit of churning out high scoring games in a regular manner. However in this particular game between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in Jaipur it was a completely different story. Put in to bat, Uttar Pradesh started off in the most disastrous manner possible and were soon rolling down the drain with their scorecard reading 8-5 after 4.4 overs. In stepped 21 year old Rahat Elahi and alongwith Ali Murtaza gave UP's innings a new lease of life as they built a partnership of 81 runs in 88 balls for the 6th wicket under dire circumstances.

Elahi crafted a pain staking innings of 42 runs off 46 balls and dragged UP along to a total of 98 runs in 20 overs. A score they would have happily taken considering the type of start they had got. As fate would have it Madhya Pradesh themselves struggled during the chase and at one point of time were extremely jittery at 77-6. However their lower middle order staved off the UP challenge and managed to win the match with 3 wickets and 10 balls to spare.

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