IPL 2024, a turbo-charged, batter-dominated season like no other

Sunrisers Hyderabad piled up a record-breaking 287 for 3 BCCI

Thirty-four games into IPL 2024, the dominant narrative has been the aggression and six-hitting. Scoring rates have generally been going up every season, but in 2024 the leap compared to previous years has been significant. The run rate this year has shot up to 9.42, the first instance of nine-plus in a season. The three highest totals - and four of the top five - have happened this year, and 500 sixes have come about in record time. Here is a look at all the key numbers that offer further proof of just how high-octane this season has been. To make it a fair comparison, all relevant numbers are after 34 matches from previous seasons as well.

A deluge of runs

This season's run rate of 9.42 is 7% better than the next best, after 34 games. That doesn't seem like a lot, but to put it in perspective, the second-best run rate on that list (8.81 in 2023) is only 3.1% better than the sixth-best (8.54 in 2020). The difference of 0.61 between 2024 and 2023 is also the biggest increase between successive seasons (after 34 games) since the difference of 0.79 between the 2010 (8.41) and the 2009 (7.62) seasons. The conditions in 2009 were different, though, since the tournament was hosted in South Africa.

A rush of sixes and fours

Fours and sixes have both occurred more frequently in 2024, but the difference from the previous-best season is more in the case of sixes. The rate of 13.48 balls per six is 11.6% better than 2018's rate of 15.24, while in the case of balls per boundary (four or six), the improvement is 7.1%.

The frenzy of sixes this season has clearly been startling. The start wasn't so frenetic, though: the first 100 sixes this season came in 1425 balls, second to 1278 in 2023 in terms of the quickest to that landmark. Since then, though, the 2024 season has taken over - the balls taken to reach 200, 300, 300 and 500 sixes have all been the fewest this season. After taking 1425 balls to get to 100 sixes, the next 100 came in 1014, the third 100 in 1334, the fourth in 1718 and the fifth 100 in 1389. On average, a six has been hit every 13.76 balls this season. In contrast, in 2013, 500 sixes came off 13,748 deliveries, twice as many as the current season.

Scores of high scores

A total of 270 has been breached three times in 34 games this season; the highest in 1025 IPL matches before 2024 was Royal Challengers Bengaluru's 263, of which 175 came from the blade of one batter named Chris Gayle. RCB themselves came within one run of that total this season. Though the highest score in that innings was only 83, three batters scored 40 or more runs at 200-plus strike rates. While there have only been 14 totals of 200 or more - second to 2023's 15 at the same stage of the season - those scores have been much bigger this time around: eight totals of 220 or more, and five exceeding 240.

The runs have gone up in each phase of the innings. The average scoring rate in the powerplays is in excess of nine an over, while in the death overs (17th to 20th), it is not far from 12 an over.

In the powerplays, there have been 20 instances of teams scoring 60 or more, and ten of the teams topping 72. Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians have already had three instances each of scoring 72 or more in the first six, while Kolkata Knight Riders have achieved it twice. However, none of the teams have yet breached the record for most powerplay runs in an innings - that record is still KKR's 105, which they made against RCB in 2017. This season's record - 88 by KKR against Delhi Capitals - is in fourth place in the overall list.

On 13 occasions, teams have reached 100 within the first ten overs, which is also a new high. The previous best after 34 games of any season was eight, in 2023.

In the death overs, the highest of this season - 84 by Mumbai against Capitals - is second on the all-time list, next to RCB's 89 against Gujarat Lions in 2016.

Bowlers run for cover

Thanks to these blistering strike rates, bowlers have come under pressure like no other season. There have been 205 instances of 15-run overs, while 20 or more have been scored 54 times. Anrich Nortje, who has disappeared for 215 in 16 overs, has conceded 20 or more four times (102 runs in those four overs), while three others - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Reece Topley and Harshal Patel - have suffered this fate thrice.

Of the 45 bowlers who have bowled at least 15 overs this season, only 11 have an economy rate of under eight, while 12 have gone at more than ten an over.

Batters in overdrive

Fifty batters have scored 100 or more runs this season, and among all of them only one - Sam Curran - has gone at a strike rate of under 120. Curran's strike rate of 117.85 puts him at the bottom of this 50-player list. On the other hand, 28 batters have gone at over 150, and ten at over 175. Four of them - Abdul Samad, Dinesh Karthik, Ashutosh Sharma and Andre Russell - have maintained a 200-plus strike rate. In previous seasons after 34 games, the best in these categories were 20 batters at over 150, five at over 175, and one at over 200. This has been a season for runs and sixes like no other IPL.