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Will a T20 team ever win a match without taking a wicket?


International Debutant
And by 'ever' I mean 'within the next 20 years'.

T20 as a format is growing on me, but I wonder about one thing. In the recent T20 between the BCs and Pakistan, the BCs were chasing and after 10 overs they had lost 0 wickets but were behind the run rate.

Now, of course, Guptill and KW had that chase under control and we duly won easily.

But consider this. Let's say there was a situation in which a chasing team didn't open with a striker like Guptill but with two reasonably sedate batsmen who struck at 110 or so.

The optimal strategy for the team defending a total in this situation might literally be to try and take no wickets but to bowl 20 overs to the openers without letting the hitters get in.

This might mean the fielding team deliberately drops catches so as to keep the relatively slow scoring openers in the game.

My question is this - will this even happen in T20s? Will we ever see a fielding side deliberately dropping catches at international, IPL or BBL level?


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It was rumoured that WI dropped one of Brearley/Boycott to keep them at the crease in the '79 World Cup final.


International Debutant
Imagine this. Your team scores 160 against Pakistan, who are 140/2 on the last ball of the 19th over, with two set batsmen striking at 110. It's a skier and it's coming down to you.

If you drop it, the batsmen run a single and need 20 off the last over. This is exceptionally unlikely to happen given that the set batsmen have had difficulty getting it off the square/through the gaps/over the field.

If you catch it, Shahid Afridi comes to the crease to face the first ball of the 20th over needing 21 to win.

Now in that situation I reckon you and your team are better off just watching the ball hit the turf.


International Regular
It was rumoured that WI dropped one of Brearley/Boycott to keep them at the crease in the '79 World Cup final.
Quoting from "Living for Cricket" by Clive Lloyd:

"When I dropped Boycott from a rather comfortable catch at mid-on at one stage, there were a lot of people who suggested I put it down purposely just to keep him in. Not true - but it would not have been a bad tactic!"


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The only situation I can see this happening is in a heavily rain shortened game.

No team will ever fail in a proper run chase without losing a wicket. It's completely impossible. If they bat badly and leave too many to get in the final few overs, then they will lose wickets trying to chase it down, which will lose them the match as they don't have any batsmen left to hit out. If opening the batsmen are still there it's because they have done it successfully.

The more runs they have to chase, the more they will have to gamble wickets in trying to chase it. A team cannot lose on run rate alone in a chase. It. Will. Not. Ever. Happen.

To answer your Afridi example - he averages 18. Top order international standard batsmen, who at the time of measuring are well set, average a lot more with at least as good a strike rate. I don't need to measure that because it's ****ing obvious.

I have never used this argument before and I hope I never will again, but if you don't understand this, you genuinely don't understand how cricket works.


International Debutant
Going back to original question: technically it's already happened.

For a full 20-over chase, Bangladesh once only lost one wicket while failing to chase down a target.
The first one is actually a really good example of what I'm talking about. Uthappa scored 18 off 19 in that failed chase, with a total of one boundary. Getting him out and getting Kohli in would be a bad idea for the fielding side.

That second one is interesting too. It seems that if you score enough runs batting first then the team batting second can bat really well and take risks, not lose a wicket and still lose.


International Regular
I don't think you can say for sure that it will never happen. Certainly not impossible.

I can picture a scenario where the openers keep scoring runs just below the required RR and then in the final 2 overs, the target gets too big for them. Now, it's not too much of a leap to say that they can still stay unbeaten given that the opposition bowls a few good yorkers, a couple of swing and misses, and you've won the game without taking any wickets.


International Debutant
Yeah that's what I'm thinking about. I understand the "Higher RRR = higher risk = more wickets lost" argument but it is no guarantee that the batting team will lose wickets.


International Debutant
Yeah that's what I'm thinking about. I understand the "Higher RRR = higher risk = more wickets lost" argument but it is no guarantee that the batting team will lose wickets.
Over the course of 20 overs with a climbing req run rate, it's as close to a sure thing as you can get.

They'll either comfortably make the chase, or lose wickets failing to do so.


Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I think it almost certainly will happen at some stage, if it hasn't already.

not with the team batting second losing no wickets though, that's highly unlikely
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It's possible in leagues and tournaments where to qualify a team just needs to meet a certain NRR


I think it's an interesting theory but I think it hinges a bit too much on the idea that the best hitters bat lower down the order, where in reality, there's usually at least one of the best hitters opening the batting in a 20-over game.