England survived just 37 overs against Australia last night, collapsing to just 103 all out. They had eight single-digit scores out of their twenty batsmen, Australia had just one.
But, England’s terrible collapse is hardly their worst.
There have been 143 instances of a team collapsing in 37 six-ball overs or less, the first being Australia in 1879. You would think that these rapidfire innings would be getting less frequent, but you’d be wrong.
There has been the whopping total of 20 occurrences in the 2010s alone.
|England||103||37.0||2.78||-405||4||lost||v Australia||Lord’s||16 Jul 2015|
|Zimbabwe||114||35.5||3.18||100||3||lost||v Bangladesh||Dhaka||25 Oct 2014|
|India||94||29.2||3.20||-244||3||lost||v England||The Oval||15 Aug 2014|
|England||166||31.4||5.24||-281||4||lost||v Australia||Sydney||3 Jan 2014|
|West Indies||103||31.5||3.23||121||3||lost||v New Zealand||Hamilton||19 Dec 2013|
|Pakistan||99||36.4||2.70||99||1||lost||v South Africa||Dubai (DSC)||23 Oct 2013|
|New Zealand||68||22.3||3.02||-170||4||lost||v England||Lord’s||16 May 2013|
|Pakistan||49||29.1||1.68||-204||2||lost||v South Africa||Johannesburg||1 Feb 2013|
|New Zealand||45||19.2||2.32||45||1||lost||v South Africa||Cape Town||2 Jan 2013|
|Zimbabwe||51||28.5||1.76||-444||2||lost||v New Zealand||Napier||26 Jan 2012|
|England||72||36.1||1.99||-72||4||lost||v Pakistan||Abu Dhabi||25 Jan 2012|
|South Africa||96||24.3||3.91||-188||2||won||v Australia||Cape Town||9 Nov 2011|
|Australia||47||18.0||2.61||235||3||lost||v South Africa||Cape Town||9 Nov 2011|
|Sri Lanka||82||24.4||3.32||-14||3||lost||v England||Cardiff||26 May 2011|
|England||123||37.0||3.32||-267||4||lost||v Australia||Perth||16 Dec 2010|
|Pakistan||74||33.0||2.24||-372||2||lost||v England||Lord’s||26 Aug 2010|
|Pakistan||147||36.5||3.99||-225||3||lost||v England||Lord’s||26 Aug 2010|
|Pakistan||80||29.0||2.75||-354||4||lost||v England||Nottingham||29 Jul 2010|
|Australia||88||33.1||2.65||88||1||lost||v Pakistan||Leeds||21 Jul 2010|
|Bangladesh||123||34.1||3.60||-80||3||lost||v England||Manchester||4 Jun 2010|
There are a few interesting statistics to be drawn from this list:
- Every country has suffered this misfortune in the 2010s. Surprisingly, it’s only happened once to Bangladesh, with Pakistan suffering it the most, five times.
- Despite the fact England has lasted this long or less four times, it’s happened to their opposition seven times.
- There have been two occurrences of it happening twice in the one match: Pakistan against England at Lord’s in 2010 and both South Africa and Australia in the infamous 2011 Cape Town test.
- The highest run rate during a short innings is 5.24, by England in 2013 against Australia, with the slowest being 1.68, by Pakistan in 2013 against South Africa.
However, my premise that these innings would be getting less frequent may be incorrect, and it might be getting more frequent as time goes on.
As Peter Moores would say, “We’ll have to look at the data.”
So, our initial premise was completely wrong, and the number of these occurrences is now higher than it has ever been. But, keep in mind we’re also playing a lot more cricket than we’ve ever been. How does that change the outlook?
Some of the traditionalists may claim this is bad, and that Twenty20 has ruined players’ abilities to just shut up shop for hours. (I have a complete inability to block in a game situation. However, this isn’t because my natural instinct is to just smash it out of the park, it’s that I’m a hopeless batsman).
However, I say it makes the game a lot more interesting when this happens.
I was sitting in my car listening to the radio in November 2013 when England lost 6-9 in the first Ashes Test. (Scroll down to the 31st over for the start of the collapse.) It was one of the best cricketing memories of my life.
Sure, it may shorten the Test matches and annoy anyone who paid for a fifth-day ticket, but it’s always incredibly exciting to see a team collapse like that. (Well, except when it’s yours). But honestly, isn’t the point of the game for the players and the spectators to have fun?
And if collapses like England’s happen, I’ll have a lot of it.