Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2017, Hyderabad April 19, 2017

The Morris v Mathews debate

Despite statistics that seem to suggest otherwise, Delhi Daredevils have continued to bat Angelo Mathews above Chris Morris

Angelo Mathews has not been the best finisher in T20 cricket © BCCI

At 105 for 3, chasing 192, Sanju Samson holed out to leave Delhi Daredevils needing 87 runs off 41 balls. It seemed an excellent time to send in Chris Morris, the allrounder with a strike-rate of 238.7 this IPL season. But the management preferred Angelo Mathews, who then laboured to 31 runs off 23 balls, before getting out off the penultimate ball.

Morris, in prime hitting form, did not face a single ball, and the Daredevils slumped to their third loss in five games. Was this a wise strategy? Cold, hard numbers suggest otherwise.

Chris Morris v Angelo Mathews in chases for IPL and T20I teams
Mathews Morris
 Innings  41 19
 Batting average  22.96 35.85
 Batting average between overs 16-20  17.30 44.62
 Strike Rate between overs 16-20  143.81 172.46
 Balls per boundary between overs 16-20  6.69 4.6

Daredevils have not let Morris bat higher than No. 6 in IPL 2017. As a result, he has only faced 31 deliveries, but has hit 12 of them for fours of sixes. Mathews, on Wednesday, took 20 balls to hit his first six and collected only three boundaries in total. Shreyas Iyer, at the other end, ended up facing just 12 deliveries in the last five overs.

Getting the small things right amount to a great deal in T20 cricket, and Daredevils, with respect to this issue, are struggling.

Srinath Sripath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo