T20 cricket has always been considered as a smaller version of ODI cricket, with everything minimized from 50 overs to 20 overs. When it comes to batting, the use of terms like “middle overs” and “death overs” leads to the mistaken belief that these concepts apply to T20s just as they did to 50-over cricket.
But T20 cricket is not a quicker version of 50 over cricket, in fact it is another sport altogether, and should be treated as such. While the rest of the world has not exactly caught on to this fact, the West Indies - either by accident or due to the game’s design for big hitters - have stumbled upon this realization and have been successful at it.
T20 cricket is not a quicker version of 50-over cricket, in fact it is another sport altogether
The Dhaka Dynamites have been the team to beat in the ongoing BPL, and a look at one of their recent matches against the Rangpur Riders helps us appreciate how T20 is a different beast. The team has two West Indians in their lineup and the legendary Kumar Sangakkara as well, who has an idea on how to succeed in T20 cricket.
So let’s try to understand what the Dhaka Dynamites did well which makes them an ideal T20 side. Evin Lewis entered this Dhaka Dynamites side after a successful ODI showing with the national side during which he scored his maiden ODI century. His name will also be well known to Indian fans due to his devastating 100 off 49 balls in that famous high-scoring T20 match which India lost by 1 run.
4.3 S. Afridi to E. Lewis, 6
Like that match Evin Lewis started off quick and kept the boundaries coming, in complete disregard to the concept of powerplay, middle overs and death overs. With the batting resources (wickets) being far more under-utilized in a T20, it only makes sense to keep going for your shots and maximizing the returns within those 20 overs, rather than slowing down in the artificially constructed middle overs. This realization explains why Sekkugge Prasanna & Andre Russel were batting at 3 & 4, ahead of Shakib Al Hasan & Nasir Hossain. Evin Lewis knows this, West Indies knows this and due to the exchange of knowledge in such T20 tournaments even Dhaka Dynamites know this now.
6.4 S. Afridi to Mehedi Maruf, 6
Dhaka Dynamites started off well due to good hitting from Evin Lewis whose only aim was to get those big hits. His partner, Mehedi Maruf, had a similarly well defined role, which was to give Evin Lewis the strike. It worked out well, which was evident in the fifth to eighth overs where they scored 59 runs, and all their runs came in either sixes or singles, with only four dot balls in the carnage.
17.3 Rubel Hossain to Shakib Al Hasan, 4
Shakib Al Hasan also played an important knock in a match where the average SR through the game was 140. Batting at a time when the consistent fall of wickets made runs dry up, he was able to score at a good pace by playing some creative shots to get his runs.
14.5 Shahid Afridi to Shakib Al Hasan, 2
15.4 Liam Dawson to Shakib Al Hasan, 6
16.6 Soumya Sarkar to Shakib Al Hasan, 4
It may take time for sides to understand the concept of going for your shots from ball one and in turn getting rid of the concept of “middle overs” & “death overs” but for those who get it, success will follow them first.