Economy Rates in T20 History

T20 is the only format of the game where economy rates assume almost as much importance as wickets, sometimes more.

T20 is the only format of the game where economy rates assume almost as much importance as wickets, sometimes more.

The real value of a bowler’s performance is the combination of wickets and economy rate, and conventional stats make a mockery of trying to measure this with just wickets tallies and economy rates. It is facile also to try and combine the two outside match contexts.

Impact Index calculates the impact of economy rates relative to every match the performance comes in. So, a bowler with an economy of 8 in a match will register a negative Economy IMPACT where the average economy rate in the match is 7 and a positive Economy IMPACT where the average economy rate is 9. This gives a much truer picture of a bowler’s ability of choking runs than conventional economy rates do.

These are the five highest impact T20 Internationals bowlers on Economy IMPACT:

1. DL Vettori (Economy IMPACT 1.45, 28 matches)
2. BAW Mendis (0.97, 17)
3. MH Yardy (0.93, 15)
4. J Botha (0.74, 31)
5. SE Bond (0.73, 20)

Once again, there are 4 spinners in the 5 highest Economy IMPACT bowlers. The first two would not be a surprise at all for those who have been following our lists, and T20 cricket in general. Neither would the presence of South African Johan Botha here, who is most known for his economy rate as a cricketer, especially in the T20 format.

Englishman Michael Yardy will always be remembered for forming an effective spinning combination with Graeme Swann and playing a significant part in England winning their first major world cricket title (the T20 world championship in 2010). Shane Bond, the only fast bowler on this list, goes down the path of prolific wicket-takers in other formats who become very hard to score off in the T20 format (Dale Steyn, the notable contemporary parallel).

The 5 highest impact T20 Internationals Economy Impact performances:
1) DL Vettori 3 for 6 in 4 overs v Bangladesh, Hamilton, 2010 – Economy IMPACT 4.84

In this one-off T20 match, Bangladesh started reasonably well – 39-2 in 6 overs, when Daniel Vettori came on. He bowled 3 overs on the trot for 6 runs and took two wickets, and at the end of the 11th over (when he finished his first spell), Bangladesh was 53-5, match transformed. His last over (at 64 for 7) was a maiden-wicket. New Zealand knocked off Bangladesh’s 78 in 9 overs.

2) Syed Rasel 1 for 10 in 4 overs v West Indies , Johannesburg, 2007 – Economy IMPACT 3.30

In a group match playoff between Bangladesh and West Indies, a win for either of the sides meant direct qualification to the next round of the World T20 tournament. After selecting to bowl on a damp pitch, Syed Rasel made the most use of the conditions and took out an in-form Gayle in the very first over which also turned out to be a maiden. Rasel went on to bowl his four overs in a single spell and conceded only 10 runs. His economy rate of 2.50 is also the best by any Bangladeshi bowler in T20I cricket till date. Apart from Rasel, the other Bangladeshi bowlers leaked 154 runs in the remaining 16 overs. Bangladesh successfully managed to chase down the target of 164 and knocked West Indies out of the tournament.

3) Umar Gul 4 for 8 in 4 overs v Australia, Dubai, 2009 – Economy IMPACT 3.16

Umar Gul’s reputation as one of the best death bowlers in T20 cricket can be singularly certified through his performance in this particular match against Australia. Playing at Dubai, on a surface not conducive for fast bowling, Australia began strongly and were cruising at 42-0 after 4 overs when Umar Gul was brought on. With his very first delivery he struck, dismissing the in-form Watson and even though he gave only two runs in his first over, he was not given a continued run.

When he came back to bowl again in the 15th over, the Australians had lost quite some steam by then. In his last spell which lasted from the 15th to the 19th over, his figures read as 3-0-6-3. He had got rid of the Australian tail with his deadly inswinging yorkers as a result of which Australia capitulated to 108 runs. His figures are till date the best by any Pakistani bowler in a T20 match. Pakistan won easily.
4) BAW Mendis 2 for 9 in 4 overs v West Indies, London, 2009 – Economy IMPACT 3.08

In this ICC T20 World Cup 2009 semi-final match at London, Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan played a whirlwind innings upfront to set West Indians a target of 160 runs in their stipulated 20 overs. West Indies on the other hand by no means entered this match as the underdogs, they had already beaten India, England and Australia in the tournament and with the likes of Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard in their ranks, any total was fair game. However, they had a terrible start and by the time Ajantha Mendis came on at the start of the 7th over they were reeling at 29-3.

Chris Gayle was still there at the crease, so anything was still possible, of course. But Mendis kept both Gayle and Pollard very quiet throughout. By the time Mendis came in for his second spell, Gayle had begun a quintessential carnage and Mendis was the only Sri Lankan off whom he couldn’t hit even a single boundary. Gayle’s and Pollard’s strike rate against Mendis was 33 and 16 respectively and shows the leash Mendis kept on the two most hard hitting West Indian batsmen. Despite Gayle staying unbeaten on 63 (off 50 balls), Sri Lanka won by a massive 57 runs.

5) JE Taylor 3 for 6 in 3 overs v South Africa, Port Elizabeth, 2007 – Economy IMPACT 3.01each

The T20 series in 2007 (which ended 1-1) began with South Africa being dismissed for 58 (with just Botha and Extras touching double figures). The two opening bowlers – Darren Powell and Jerome Taylor both gave away 6 runs in 3 overs – South Africa were 16-6 after 6 overs – Taylor took 3 wickets, Powell 1 (which is why Taylor has a higher impact and makes it just ahead of Powell on this list) plus 2 run-outs. After being 41-5, West Indies won by 5 wickets.

These are the five highest impact T20 domestic bowlers on Economy IMPACT:

1. S Badree (Economy IMPACT 1.62, 35 matches)
2. SMSM Senanayake (1.38, 16)
3. SR Clark (1.31, 17)
4. SP Narine (1.30, 15)
5. Imran Khalid (1.25, 23)

West Indian leg spinner Samuel Badree’s record for his domestic team Trinidad and Tobago has been prolific, with the ability to choke his most notable quality. Surprisingly (or maybe, not really), he was not picked up during this season’s IPL auction.
Sachitra Senanayake is a Sri Lankan off spinner and recently made his debut against South Africa in the 50-overs format. His domestic T20 performances have mostly come in the Sri Lankan domestic T20 Cup for his teams Sinhalese Sports Club and Ruhuna – many brilliant performances.

Stuart Clark’s recent change in action has enabled him to become more of a restrictive bowler rather than a wicket-taking one. But he has been very effective on that front.
Thanks to the Champions League T20 and now the IPL, West Indian spinner Sunil Narine is no longer an unknown entity. His performances for Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinidad & Tobago have been exceptional.

All-rounder Imran Khalid is a regular player for Faisalabad Wolves in the Pakistan domestic T20 league and is a slow left arm spin bowler. One of the many talented Pakistanis missing out – or rather whom the IPL is missing out on.

The Five Highest Impact T20 Domestic Economy Impact performances:

1) JPR Scantlebury-Searles 4 for 5 in 3 overs v Canada, Bridge Town Barbados, 2011 – Economy IMPACT 8.14

In this Caribbean T20 group match between Barbados and Canada, the latter were set a target of 140 in 20 overs. However Javon Scantlebury-Searles made sure that it was not just his name but also his bowling which troubled the Canadian batsmen. It would be fair to say that the opening over itself knocked the stuffing out of the Canadian chase as Javon Searles got rid of the top three in his very first over, which also turned out to be a maiden. In his next over he dismissed yet another batsman for a duck and by the time he was done with his spell, Canada had lost the match by a D/L margin of 33 runs, in a rain-affected match.

2) Imran Khalid 2 for 12 in 4 overs v Multan Tigers, Karachi, 2006 – Economy IMPACT 4.40

Multan Tigers, after electing to bat first on a good hard surface at the Karachi Sports Ground, got off to a decent if not a great start and were looking good enough to post a total in the ranges of 140-160 after the first 10 overs of the game. However, they didn’t account for the spin bowling of Imran Khalid and within no time Khalid had completed his four overs in a miserly spell of spin bowling, taking 2 wickets as well. His bowling effort restricted the Multan Tigers to a paltry score of 122 which was then chased down by the Faisalabad Wolves in only 7.3 overs with 8 wickets in hand.

3) R Rampaul  2 for 6 in 4 overs v Leeward Islands, Antigua, 2012 – Economy IMPACT 4.28

Trinidad and Tobago, after electing to bat first wreaked havoc  in the first 20 overs as they set a target of 212 runs for the Leeward Islands to chase. For such a mammoth chase, the most important thing for the Leeward Islands was to start well. They had to capitalise in the first six overs and that is exactly where Ravi Rampaul snapped the deal for the Leeward Islands batsmen.

In a spell of extremely tight bowling, Rampaul even picked up two wickets to force Leeward Islands out of the equation. He was ably supported by Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree, both of who picked up four and three wickets respectively in the match. By the time Rampaul had ended his spell, Leeward Islands were tottering at 18-5 after 8 overs.  Eventually they were bowled out for 44 runs handing Trinidad and Tobago a colossal 167-run win.

4) K Santokie 2 for 4 in 2 overs v Somerset, Barbados, 2011 – Economy IMPACT 4.26

In a match reduced to a 6-over contest. Jamaica racked up a huge score of 85 while batting first. Coming out to chase, Somerset’s batting line up had the likes of Jos Buttler to overhaul the target. However, they met resistance in the form of left arm seamer Krishmar Santokie. Due to the rain revised conditions, only one bowler was allowed to bowl 2 overs in the same innings and Krishmar Santokie was that bowler for Barbados. 

Santokie bowled the 2nd and the 6th over of the match and came in at a time when the chances of a bowler being hit were the highest. However, in his two overs which constituted 33% of Somerset’s total innings, Santokie gave away only two runs (8% of Somerset’s total innings runs). Somerset eventually managed to score only 24 runs for the loss of six wickets and lost the match by a massive margin of 61 runs, given the context.

5) AR Nurse 3 for 7 in 4 overs v Netherlands, Antigua, 2012 – Economy IMPACT 4.18   

Bowling in the death overs is tough for bowlers, especially spin bowlers. When Ashley Nurse came on to bowl his off spinners, Netherlands were not in a great state and were 50-5 in 12 overs. However they still had batsmen to follow and going by their previous matches in the tournament (the Caribbean T20 tournament), they had enough firepower to reach a respectable total.

However, Nurse came up with a four over spell which fast-tracked Netherlands to imminent defeat. In his four overs he got rid of the lower-middle-order and sucked the runs from the rest of the batsmen. What is quite remarkable is that he bowled two maidens in the last 8 overs of the innings. His figures of 4-2-7-3 were the best by any Barbados bowler in a T20 match.

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