In the last two Tests played in England, Angelo Mathews and Joe Root
played big, and contrasting innings batting with the tail. These innings
were both played against fields that were spread for the first 4 balls of
the over and brought in for the 5th and 6th balls over the over. Here is
an analysis of these two innings:
From the time Herath came in to the end of the innings Mathews scored
106 runs off 157 balls. Facing the first three balls of the over he scored
16 runs off 83 balls (SR 19.2). Of these 78 were dots, 2 singles, 2 fours
and 1 six. He faced the 2nd ball of the over 28 times without scoring off
any of them. Off the 4th ball of the over, he declined to look for the
single, scoring 19 runs off 36 balls, with just 3 singles, 2 twos and
three fours. Off the 5th and 6th balls he generally looked for four,
scoring 71 runs off 38 balls (SR 186.8). He hit 14 of these balls for
4 with 13 singles and 1 two.
Root, by contrast, generally looked to score a single off the 4th ball
of the over. From the time that Anderson came in he scored 104 runs off
193 balls. Facing balls 1, 2 and 3 of the over he scored 39 runs off 127
balls (SR 30.7). Off the 4th ball of the over he scored a single 19 times
out of the 36 balls faced and in total scored 29 runs off these 36 balls.
Off the 5th and 6th ball of the over he scored 36 runs off 30 balls
(SR 120.0), including 6 fours.