Maiden Over – Importance Of Maiden Over in Test, ODI & T20s

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Maiden over in cricket is an over bowled by a player without conceding any runs, in his or her six deliveries. 

Why is the run-less over in cricket called Maiden Over?

As we go back to trace the etymology of the phrase “Maiden Over”, we can easily find its origin: 

  • Anything that is unsullied or unused or untouched is referred to as a Maiden. 
  • In Cricket, this idiom refers to an over which is unscored by the opponent. 

During the course of cricket’s history, the number of balls in an over has ranged from four to five, six, or even eight deliveries, before they finally standardized at six balls for each over in all modern-day variations of the game.

In any of these situations, regardless of the number of deliveries that were bowled during an over, if no runs were scored during that over, it is called “Maiden over”. 

Extras will be counted in Maiden over or not?

In cricket, there are two distinct categories of extras. 

  1. Counted in Bowler’s Stats 

The ones that are tallied in the bowler’s stats, such as a wide or a no-ball. 

  1. Not Counted in Bowler’s Stats 

The ones that are not counted against the bowler, such as a bye or a leg-bye.

Only the extras which are given by the bowler such as wides and no balls will be considered. If a bowler doesn’t concede any wides or no balls and no runs are scored, it is a Maiden. 

Leg byes and byes will be counted in a Maiden over or not?

Even if there is a leg bye or byes, if a bowler doesn’t bowl a no ball or wide and the batsman doesn’t score any runs, that is still a Maiden. 

Wicket Maiden Over in Cricket

What could be more desirable than an over without runs? Well, it is the wicket maiden. A wicket maiden is every bowler’s dream. 

  • If a bowler doesn’t condene any run and takes a wicket, that’s called wicket maiden. 
  • If it is 2 wickets, it is double-wicket maiden. 
  • It is important to know that run out doesn’t count under this. 

Significance of Maiden Overs in Cricket

Many great bowlers adhered to the principle of bowling maidens as a tool to exert pressure on the batsmen to attempt something new in order to move the scoreboard. It eventually results in a wicket. 

In various game forms, a maiden serves a distinct function. Let’s examine each of them in detail:

Importance of Maiden Overs in Test Matches

With no overs limits, two innings per game, and lengthy sessions lasting five days, playing a good ball in a test match carries a far higher risk than letting it go. The risk involved in Test is high and the opportunity to wait and punish the bad balls is also high. That’s why we see more overs without runs in Test cricket. 

  • In a Test match, it is quite acceptable to go without scoring a run in an over, but making a little blunder by carelessly playing with a good line-length ball could result in a huge disaster.
  • As a result, bowlers who use consistent line and length in Test matches always get overs without runs.

Here are some bowlers listed as per the most maiden overs in Test matches:

  • M Muralitharan (SL)
  • SK Warne (AUS)
  • A Kumble (INDIA)
  • GD McGrath (AUS)
  • JM Anderson (ENG)
  • LR Gibbs (WI)
  • DL Underwood (ENG)
  • SM Pollock (SA)
  • DL Vettori (NZ)
  • SCJ Broad (ENG)

Importance of the Maiden Overs in ODI Matches

The number of first over maidens in ODIs is often lower than that of Test cricket. 

  • However, in ODI matches, a player may still secure their first over if the pitch is bowler-friendly or if they bowl in the right spot. 
  • In ODIs, it has the same effect on the chances of getting a wicket as it does in Tests.

The following is a list of bowlers who have had the most maiden overs in ODI’s:

  1. SM Pollock (SA)
  2. GD McGrath (AUS)
  3. WPUJC Vaas (SL)
  4. Wasim Akram (PAK)
  5. N Kapil Dev (INDIA)
  6. M Muralitharan (SL)
  7. CEL Ambrose (WI)
  8. Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ)
  9. CA Walsh (WI)
  10. EJ Chatfield (NZ)

Importance of the Maiden Overs in T20 Matches

The significance increases with the length of the cricket format. In T20 cricket, every bowler gets only 4 overs in the total of 20 overs. Every ball counts. 

  • In such a case, if a bowler bowls an over without runs, then he/she completes 25% of his allotted overs without giving up a run. 
  • The batting side loses 5% of the total overs, if they face an over without runs. 

The following is a list of bowlers who have had the most successful maiden overs in T20:

  1. J Bumrah (INDIA)
  2. KMDN Kulasekara (SL)
  3. Harbhajan Singh (INDIA)
  4. DT Johnston (IRE)
  5. BAW Mendis (SL)
  6. Mohammad Amir (PAK)
  7. Mohammad Nabi (AFG)
  8. Mohammad Naveed (UAE)
  9. Sultan Ahmed (UAE)
  10. Abdur Razzak (BDESH)

Final Thoughts

In all formats of cricket, an over without runs is crucial. In Test matches, it is more common and simple for a bowler to get a maiden over, while in T20 matches, it is more difficult but less often. 

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