Statistics released today suggest that the record-breaking ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is set to be remembered as the most entertaining and unpredictable in the history of the event.
The cricket record books during the course of the event have had to be rewritten as a series of long-standing records, both in the history of the tournament and ODI cricket, have been shattered through a series of thrilling matches.
These are just some of the statistical highlights to be achieved during the course of the tournament:
* Sachin Tendulkar set a world record for the most appearances in ODIs and also became the first man in history to score five or more hundreds at the ICC Cricket World Cup. He also became the first batsman to score 2000 ICC Cricket World Cup runs.* Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien’s 50-ball century against England set a record for the fastest hundred in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
* Ireland (329 for seven) recorded the highest successful run chase in the ICC Cricket World Cup.
* Ricky Ponting broke the record for the most match appearances in an ICC Cricket World Cup and also became the first player to be on the winning side in 250 ODI games.
* The India-England tie in Bengaluru set a new match aggregate record for the ICC Cricket World Cup as 676 runs were scored.
* Lasith Malinga became the first player to take two hat-tricks in ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments.
* Jonathan Trott became the joint record holder, alongside Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen, of the fastest player to reach 1,000 ODI runs.
* Shahid Afridi became the first bowler to capture three successive four wicket hauls in the ICC Cricket World Cup.
* The partnership of 282 between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga for the first wicket against Zimbabwe was a new record for that wicket
* Paul Stirling became the youngest centurion in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup, with his hundred against the Netherlands.
The competition is also set to be remembered as the most memorable for spectators who enjoy quick scoring matches. After the 42 group games, the average run rate for the competition looks set to average more than five runs per over for the first time in the history of the competition.
So far runs have been scored at 5.07 runs per over, at an average of 28.43 runs per wicket, beating the previous best of 4.95 in 2007. The lowest run rate in a competition was 3.54 runs per over in the 1979 event.
With the knock-out stages viewed by ICC President Sharad Pawar as amongst the most open and unpredictable in the history of the history of the tournament, statistics also show that the influence of the toss and who bats first has had little impact on matches.
Of the 42 games in the competition so far, 30 captains have won the toss and chosen to bat, whereas only 12 have chosen to bowl. However, this has had not had much impact on the results of matches, as 22 have been won by the team batting first and 18 by the team batting second, with one tie and one no-result. The influence of day/night matches is also seen to be negligible, with 15 of the 30 matches won by the team batting first, while 13 have been won by the team batting second.
In the group stages, overall statistics show pace bowling was more effective than spin with a better strike rate (34.4 in comparison to 40.4) and a better average (29.86 in comparison to 31.53). However, spinners did have a better economy rate (4.68 in comparison to 5.19).
However, the success of the likes of Sulieman Benn opening the bowling means this event has seen more spinners open the bowling in 2011, on 26 occasions in total, than in all other editions of the tournament combined. When spinners have opened the bowling it has been delivered with a better average in comparison to pace (22.38 to 29.14), a better economy rate (4.14 to 5.17) and a better strike-rate (32.4 to 33.8).
For those looking for omens of how teams perform under pressure at ICC events, the India-Australia match will pitch the two sides with the best win records in the knock-out stages of ICC competitions (including all ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC World Twenty20 games).
India has a win record of 69% at ICC events (11 wins from 18 matches, with two no results), while Australia has the second best win record of 65% (15 wins from 24 matches, with one tie).
However, India will have to contend with the leading run scorer in the history of ICC events during the knock-out stages, with Ricky Ponting have scored more runs than any other player, although Sachin Tendulkar – who stands third on the run scoring list – boasts a superior average to Ponting (47.81 in comparison to 41.80).