Even they were smashed by Pakistan earlier today, South Africa protected a record of never having been dismissed for less than 100 in a Twenty20 International. It is a record they share with West Indies, whose lowest score is 101.
It is some achievement given the nature of Twenty20 cricket – an early collapse can often lead to a completely dominant performance from the bowling team as the onus is on the batting team to keep hitting. No time for consolidation.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the team that has been dismissed the most times in Twenty20 International cricket is Kenya, who have achieved, or perhaps that should be, suffered it, on five occasions.
Next are New Zealand with four times (including 99 against Pakistan in which Umar Gul also took five for six) while Bermuda, Zimbabwe, Ireland and India have only once been embarrassed in this fashion:
But what about the scores themselves? Kenya hold the unwanted lowest score of all with 67, followed by Ireland (68) and Bermuda (70) while Sri Lanka (87) and Netherlands (86) have the highest lowest score: And which teams are best at dismissing others before they reach three figures? It’s Pakistan, followed by Ireland, New Zealand and Sri Lanka:
There is also the intriguing coincidence that each ICC World Twenty20 champion has, within 18 months of winning the title, gone on to be dismissed for less than 100. India did it against Australia in 2008, Pakistan against England in 2010 and England themselves against the West Indies in 2011. Will the West Indies buck this trend?
You can read more on this ‘trend’ in ‘A Win For The People’, Cricket World’s book on the ICC World Twenty20 2012 (which I edited). Buy it here for £7.19 (paperback) or £5.14 (Kindle).