The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) new penalty for slow over-rate in T20Is has had a significant bearing on match results in the ongoing Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The rule, which came into effect in January 2022, forces the fielding team to have only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle, instead of five, for every over that starts after the stipulated time.
What is the slow over-rate rule?
For every over that begins after 85 minutes have passed since the start of the innings, the fielding side can have only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle. However, umpires make allowances for injuries, DRS, umpire reviews and other instances beyond the control of the fielding side.
How has the rule impacted teams?
Over-rate penalties are imposed in the death overs, when the batting side is looking to score quick runs. As a result, field restrictions such as these only compound the woes of the bowling side. In the Asia Cup so far, slow over-rate penalties have cost the fielding team 63 runs in 29 balls, which translates to a run rate of 13.03. To put this into context, teams have struck at 11.31 runs an over in the death overs so far in the tournament when slow over-rate-induced field restrictions have not been in place.
Jadeja, Hardik make most of restrictions against Pakistan
During the high-voltage match between India and Pakistan on Sunday, both teams incurred this penalty. At a crucial juncture during the match, with India needing 32 runs to win from the last three overs, Pakistan was allowed only one fielder outside the 30-yard circle. Ravindra Jadeja hit a four between mid-off and extra cover and followed it up with a six over the bowler Naseem Shah in a 11-run over that brought the equation down to 21 runs to win from 12 balls. Hardik Pandya belted three fours in the following over before winning it for India with a six in the 20th over.
Earlier in the match, India had incurred the penalty in the 18th over when Bhuvneshwar Kumar was forced to bowl with five men inside the circle. The over yielded 12 runs as Shadab Khan hit a four before Shahnawaz Dahani cleared long-on for a six. The final over of the innings, also bowled under the restrictions, yielded 11 runs off the first four balls before Arshdeep Singh got Dahani bowled to bundle out Pakistan for 147.
Bangladesh pays the price
The emotionally-charged match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which is being touted as Asia’s next big cricket rivalry, was also marred by penalties for slow over-rates. In yet another tense run-chase, Sri Lanka, requiring eight runs to win off the last over, would have breathed a sigh of relied when Bangladesh was allowed just four fielders on the boundaries. Asitha Fernando sealed the win for the Lankans by hitting a four at long-on before slogging one down the ground for a couple off a no-ball.