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BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPotY) in numbers

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPotY) Awards takes place at a star-studded ceremony at the BBC’s new MediaCityUK complex in Salford tomorrow (Thursday) night. Cycling world champion and Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish is the bookies’ favourite to become the first road cyclist since Tom Simpson in 1965 to win the coveted award. You can find out more about the final shortlist of ten in my preview, but here is a breakdown of all the statistics relating to the major SPotY awards – in numbers.

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SPotY-watch update

The final ten candidates competing for the chance to succeed Tony McCoy as BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPotY) Awards was announced last night. The shortlist, determined by the votes of newspaper and magazine journalists, contains three golfers, no footballers and, unusually this year, no women. The winner will be announced at the ceremony at the BBC’s new MediaCityUK complex in Salford on Thursday 22nd December, but here is a quick run-down of the top ten – in descending order of the odds offered by bookmaker William Hill.

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England vs India in numbers

No matter what the sport, England teams seem to specialise in being good but not quite good enough. In my lifeftime, I can count the number of times that England can justifiably claim to be top dogs rather than underdogs on the fingers of one hand. Having been born four years after England’s football World Cup triumph, there is the 2003 rugby union World Cup and the 2010 cricket World Twenty20. And that, as far as the major team sports are concerned, is that. Britain has had – and continues to boast – its fair share of world/Olympic champions and world-class practitioners in individual events: Sebastian Coe, Daley Thompson, Jessica Ennis, Ben Ainslie, Lennox Lewis, Nigel Mansell, Chris Hoy and Mark Cavendish to name but a few. But when it comes to putting eleven (or six, or 15, or whatever other number) athletes together against the league of nations, the cupboard has remained steadfastly bare.

However, England’s remarkable 12-month rise from fifth to first in the Test rankings was confirmed with victory at Edgbaston two weeks ago and underlined emphatically with a second successive innings victory at The Oval yesterday, completing a 4-0 whitewash over the former world leaders India. Defending that top ranking will be difficult – indeed South Africa have the opportunity to jump into top spot before England before play again in Sri Lanka next March – but that does not diminish the cause for celebration or the pride I feel in a team which for so many years has wallowed in mediocrity (and sometimes worse).

Here is the story of how England displaced India as the number one Test side in the world – in numbers. (For a more comprehensive view on what this series win means to England cricket fans, read Chris’s post here.)

The series in numbers

First Test, Lord’s (July 21st-25th): England 474/8 dec (Pietersen 202*, Kumar 5/106) & 269/6 dec (Prior 103*, Sharma 4/59) beat India 286 (Dravid 103, Broad 4/37) & 261 (Raina 78, Anderson 5/65) by 196 runs.

Second Test, Trent Bridge (July 29th-August 1st): England 221 (Broad 64, Kumar 3/45) and 544 (Bell 159, Kumar 4/124) beat India 288 (Dravid 117, Broad 6/46) & 158 (Tendulkar 56, Bresnan 5/48) by 319 runs.

Third Test, Edgbaston (August 10th-13th): England 710/7 dec (Cook 294, Morgan 104) beat India 224 (Dhoni 74, Broad 4/53, Bresnan 4/62) & 244 (Dhoni 74*, Anderson 4/85) by an innings and 242 runs.

Fourth Test, The Oval (August 18th-22nd): England 591/6 dec (Bell 235, Pietersen 175) beat India 300 (Dravid 146) & 283 (Tendulkar 91, Swann 6/106) by an innings and 8 runs.

The teams in numbers

4 – England posted the four highest innings totals in the series, passing 450 on each occasion.

1 – Conversely, India scored 300 only once in their eight innings – recording exactly 300 in the opening innings of the final Test, after which they were still forced to follow on.

710 – Highest innings score (for 7 declared), by England in the 3rd Test at Edgbaston. It was their third-highest Test total ever, and their highest against India.

158 – Lowest innings total, by India in the 2nd Test at Trent Bridge.

80 – England claimed all 80 Indian wickets during the series, versus just 47 for India.

2 – Number of times which India bowled England out (in both innings at Trent Bridge). England declared four times and only needed their second innings twice.

3 – India‘s margin of defeat in the third Test (an innings and 242 runs) was their third-worst ever.

Batting in numbers

Pietersen was the leading batsman in the series

6– Despite batting two times fewer (six innings versus eight), England had seven of the top ten run-scorers in the series.

5 – England batsmen posted the five highest individual scores of the series – one by Alastair Cook, and two each by Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell. All three recorded double centuries.

533 – Pietersen was the leading run-scorer in the series, with 533 runs at an average of 106.60.

294Cook had the highest individual score of the series, 294 at Edgbaston. As a team, India exceeded this total just once.

461 – Rahul Dravid was India’s top batsman with 461 runs, at an average of 76.83.

Dravid was India's only centurion, scoring a series-leading three

3Dravid was India’s only century-maker, registering tons in the first, third and fourth Tests.

3 – Dravid also became only the third Indian batsman to carry his bat in a Test innings (after Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar), scoring an unbeaten 146 in India’s first innings at The Oval. He had to come straight back out again as England enforced the follow-on.

7 – England batsmen recorded seven centuries to India’s three.

3 – Number of England batsmen who scored at least 300 runs in the series (Pietersen, Bell, Cook) versus just one for India (Dravid).

8 – Number of batsmen who averaged 40 or more in the series. With the exception of Dravid, all were English.

350 – The third wicket stand of 350 between Bell and Pietersen at The Oval was the highest partnership of the series.

12 – There were 12 century partnerships during the series, 10 of them by English batsmen.

34.12 – Batting average of Sachin Tendulkar, well below his career average of 56.25. He fell nine runs short of what would have been his 100th international century at The Oval.

59.76 – England’s average runs per wicket during the series, more than double India’s average of 25.55.

70 Pietersen scored more boundaries than any other batsman in the series (68 fours, two sixes).

3 – Eoin Morgan was dismissed for a third-ball duck in England’s first innings of both the first and second Tests. He made up for it by scoring a century in the first innings of the third Test, however.

2 – Virender Sehwag recorded a king pair at Edgbaston – out first ball in both innings.

Bowling in numbers

Broad was the top wicket-taker and also claimed a hat-trick

25 – Number of wickets taken by Stuart Broad, the most on either side, and ten more than the leading Indian Praveen Kumar. (Broad also added 182 runs with the bat.)

6 – Number of bowlers who took 10 or more wickets in the series. Four were English, including the top two wicket-takers, Broad and Tim Bresnan (16).

5 – Number of times a bowler took at least five wickets in an innings. Four of these were by an English bowler (Broad, Bresnan, Jimmy Anderson, Graeme Swann).

2 – Bowlers captured six wickets in a single innings on two occasions, both Englishmen: Broad and Swann.

Kumar averaged better than a wicket every five overs

1 – Hat-tricks in the series, by Broad at Trent Bridge. It was the first time a bowler has ever taken a hat-trick in a Test against India.

29.5Kumar took a wicket every 29.5 balls, the best strike rate among regular bowlers in the series. Bresnan and Broad were not far behind, with impressive strike rates of a wicket every 34.3 and 36.3 balls respectively.

3 – Three of England’s bowlers (Bresnan, Broad, Anderson) averaged fewer than 30 runs per wicket. Only one Indian (Kumar) did.

58.18 – Other than Kumar, among India’s specialist bowlers Ishant Sharma had the second-best bowling average – his 11 wickets cost a whopping 58.18 runs apiece.

143.5Harbhajan Singh, for so long India’s primary spin threat, took just two wickets in his two matches at an average of 143.5.

And finally, a few other numbers

Prior took 16 catches and added a hundred with the bat

1 – England are now the number one country in Test cricket.

5 – England’s ranking 12 months ago.

17 – England wicketkeeper Matt Prior claimed 17 dismissals in the series (16 catches, one stumping). His counterpart M S Dhoni took 13 catches.

5Cook and Andrew Strauss led among other fielders with five catches each.

11 – India have now lost 11 out of 16 Tests at Lord’s.

7 – England’s 4-0 victory marks only the seventh time in their history they have won a series by four matches or more.

6 – This was India’s sixth series defeat by four or more matches, and their first since their tour of Australia in 1991/92.


The week in numbers: w/e 27/2/11

Anelka scored twice against Copenhapen

4 – All four goals in last Tuesday’s Champions League matches were scored by Frenchmen. Nicolas Anelka registered both Chelsea goals in their 2-0 win at FC Copenhagen, while Bafétimbi Gomis and Karim Benzema scored in the 1-1 draw between Lyon and Real Madrid.

43 – Benzema scored Real Madrid’s goal 43 seconds after entering the field as a substitute.

512 Marseille‘s 0-0 draw with Manchester United means they have now gone 512 minutes in the Champions League without conceding a goal.

1Ben Foden scored the only try of the game as England defeated France 17-9 in the clash between the only two unbeaten teams in the Six Nations.

8 – Defeat ended France’s eight-match winning streak in the Six Nations. England were also the last team to beat them, in March 2009.

Kaymer takes over as world number one

1 – Despite losing the WGC Match Play final to England’s Luke Donald, at the age of 26 Germany’s Martin Kaymer has now displaced Lee Westwood at the top of golf’s world rankings.

19Barcelona‘s 3-0 win at Mallorca extended their unbeaten streak away from home in La Liga to 19 matches, equalling the Spanish top flight record of Real Sociedad (1979-1980).

5Arsenal have now lost more League Cup finals than any other team (1968, 1969, 1988, 2007, 2011) after a late defensive mix-up allowed Birmingham City to win 2-1 at Wembley yesterday.

7 – Arsenal’s last seven Cup final defeats (both domestic and European) have come as a result of a goal after the 80th minute (six) or a penalty shootout (one).

36 – Former Bradford, Wolves, Southampton and Tottenham defender Dean Richards died on Saturday after a long fight against illness. He was aged just 36. He is perhaps best known for being on the wrong end of three major comebacks during his career where his side had led 3-0 at half-time – a 4-3 FA Cup defeat (in 2001) to Tranmere while at Southampton, a 5-3 Premier League defeat to Manchester United later that year after transferring to Tottenham, and then a 4-3 FA Cup replay loss to ten-man Manchester City in 2004.

The cricket World Cup in numbers

30 – In Australia’s 91-run win over Zimbabwe, Ricky Ponting was run out for the 30th time in one-day internationals, second only to Mark Waugh‘s 32 among Australian batsmen. Ponting also holds the record for most run outs in Tests (14).

Ten Doeschate scored his 4th ODI ton

4 – Of the eight centuries by Netherlands’ batsmen in one-dayers, four have been scored by Ryan ten Doeschate, who notched up 119 in the defeat by England.

37 – In losing to Pakistan by 205 runs, Kenya conceded 37 runs in wides, equalling the world record in ODIs.

107 AB de Villiers‘ unbeaten 107 in South Africa‘s seven-wicket win over the West Indies was his seventh ODI century in 39 matches since the beginning of 2009. In those games he has averaged an impressive 62.80.

31 – Victory over New Zealand on Friday extended Australia’s unbeaten streak in World Cup matches to an astonishing 31. Their last defeat was against Pakistan in the group stage in 1999.

4Bangladesh‘s Shafiul Islam took 4/21 in their 27-run victory over Ireland. It was the first time a Bangladeshi bowler has taken four wickets in a World Cup match.

47Sachin Tendulkar‘s 120 in Sunday’s tied game was his 47th ODI hundred, but only his second ever against England.

3 – Tendulkar still has more ODI wickets against England (three) than he does centuries (two).

5 Tim Bresnan‘s 5/48 made him only the second England player to take five wickets in a World Cup innings. The first was Vic Marks in 1983.

158Andrew Strauss‘s 158 in England’s reply was his highest ever one-day score.

The Premier League week in numbers

4 – By scoring in the 3-1 win over TottenhamBrett Ormerod has now scored for Blackpool in all four English league divisions.

11Sébastien Squillaci’s eighth-minute goal in Arsenal‘s 1-0 victory over Stoke was the eleventh scored by Arsenal in the first 15 minutes in the Premier League this season, more than any other side. Stoke have not scored in the first 15 minutes all season.

Nolan celebrated his 50th Premier League goal

50Kevin Nolan‘s goal in Newcastle‘s 1-1 draw with his former club Bolton was his 50th Premier League goal. He has 11 this season alone, a career high.

12Wigan, who lost 4-0 at home, have now lost all 12 of their Premier League encounters with Manchester United.

31Wolves‘ 4-0 thrashing of Blackpool was their biggest top flight win in more than 31 years, since a 4-0 win at Norwich City in February 1980.

21Fulham‘s 1-1 draw with his former club Manchester City meant that Mark Hughes has now drawn 21 of his last 39 games while in charge of these two clubs.

(Some statistics courtesy of Opta Sports, The Times@InfostradaLive, Cricinfo and @StatManJon.)

The Ashes in numbers

Despite a brief rain delay, England duly completed a dominant win in Sydney in the early hours of this morning – the exclamation point on a 3-1 series victory – having already ensured they would retain the Ashes in Melbourne.

Each of England’s three wins have been by an innings margin, but that only begins to tell the tale of a series which the tourists – despite a major wobble in Perth which allowed Australia to level the scores – have largely dominated ever since recovering from a hesitant start in Brisbane.

All the hand-wringing over the decline of an Australian side which has dominated world cricket for nearly two decades should take nothing away from a talented and resilient England team which is now very much in the ascendancy. Here is the story of how England broke their 24-year wait for a series victory in Australia – in numbers.

The series in numbers

First Test, Brisbane (November 25th-29th): England 260 (Siddle 6/54) & 517/1 dec (Cook 235*, Trott 135*, Strauss 110) drew with Australia 481 (Hussey 195, Haddin 136, Finn 6/125) & 107/1. Series level 0-0.

Second Test, Adelaide (December 3rd-7th): England 620/5 dec (Pietersen 227, Cook 148) beat Australia 245 & 304 (Swann 5/91) by an innings and 71 runs. England lead 1-0.

Third Test, Perth (December 16th-19th): Australia 268 & 309 (Hussey 116, Tremlett 5/87) beat England 187 (Johnson 6/38) & 123 (Harris 6/47) by 267 runs. Series level 1-1.

Fourth Test, Melbourne (December 26-30): England 513 (Trott 168*, Siddle 6/75) beat Australia 98 & 258 by an innings and 157 runs. England lead 2-1 and retain the Ashes.

Fifth Test, Sydney (January 3-7): England 644 (Cook 189, Prior 118, Bell 115) beat Australia 280 & 281 by an innings and 83 runs. England win the series 3-1.

The teams in numbers

4 – England posted the four highest innings totals in the series.

4 – England passed 500 in four of their seven innings.

1 – Conversely, Australia scored over 400 only once – 481 in the opening innings of the first Test – and failed to pass 300 in six of their nine completed innings.

644 – Highest innings total, by England in the 5th Test in Sydney.

98 – Lowest innings total, by Australia in the 4th Test in Melbourne.

90 – England claimed 90 wickets during the series, versus just 56 for Australia.

17 – Number of players used by Australia during the series. England employed just 13.

Data courtesy of Cricinfo

Batting in numbers

6 – Despite batting three times fewer (seven innings versus ten), England had six of the top ten run-scorers in the series.

Alastair Cook was the leading run-scorer in the series (image courtesy of WIkipedia)

766Alastair Cook was the leading run-scorer in the series, with 766 runs at an average of 127.66.

235 – Cook also had the highest individual score of the series, 235 not out in the second innings in Adelaide.

570Michael Hussey was Australia’s top batsman with 570 runs, but his otherwise impressive average of 63.33 was less than half that of Cook.

5 – Number of England batsmen who scored at least 300 runs in the series (Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Andrew Strauss) – versus just three for Australia (Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin).

4 – Number of batsmen who averaged 60 or more in the series. Three were English (Cook, Trott, Bell).

329 – The unbeaten stand of 329 between Cook and Trott in the first Test was the highest partnership of the series.

15 – There were 15 century partnerships during the series, 11 of them by English batsmen.

Ponting endured a miserable series as both captain and batsman

16.14 – Batting average of Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who scored just 113 runs in four Tests. Bowlers Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson both scored more runs and had a higher batting average than Ponting.

51.14 – England’s average runs per wicket during the series, getting on for double Australia’s average of 29.23.

3 – Number of centuries scored by Australian batsmen during the series (two for Hussey, one for Haddin).

3 – Number of centuries scored by Alastair Cook during the series. (As a team, England had nine courtesy of six different batsmen.)

6 – In total, there were six innings of 150 or more, but only one by an Australian (Hussey’s 195 in Brisbane).

21 – Number of sixes in the entire series. Haddin contributed five on his own, Hussey three.

81 – Unsurprisingly, no batsmen hit more fours in the series than Cook’s 81.

3 – Of the 30 men who batted in the series, only three (Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and Michael Beer) failed to score a boundary.

Data courtesy of Cricinfo

Bowling in numbers

Anderson led all bowlers with 24 wickets

24 – Number of wickets taken by Jimmy Anderson, the most on either side, and nine more than the leading Australian Mitchell Johnson.

8 – Number of bowlers who took 10 or more wickets in the series. Five were English, including the top two wicket-takers, Anderson and Chris Tremlett.

7 – Number of times a bowler took at least five wickets in an innings. Only three of these five-fors were by an English bowler (Swann, Tremlett, Finn), indicating a much more even distribution of wickets by the tourists.

5 – Bowlers captured six wickets in a single innings on five occasions, four by Australians: Peter Siddle (twice), Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris.

Johnson's destructive bowling in Perth was a rare high spot for the Aussies

9 – Johnson had the best individual match performance, taking 9/82 in Australia’s sole victory in Perth. In the same match, Harris claimed 9/106.

43.2 – Chris Tremlett took a wicket every 43.2 balls, the best strike rate among regular bowlers in the series.

6 – Six regular bowlers had a strike rate of better than a wicket every ten overs (60 balls) over the course of the series. Four were English (Anderson, Tremlett, Finn, Tim Bresnan).

3 – Three of England’s bowlers (Bresnan, Tremlett, Anderson) averaged fewer than 30 runs per wicket. Only one Australian (Harris) did.

Data courtesy of Cricinfo

Fielding in numbers

Prior took 23 catches and added a hundred with the bat

23 – England wicketkeeper Matt Prior claimed 23 dismissals in the series, all catches. Six of these came in Australia’s first innings in Melbourne, the most by any fielder in the series.

10 – All ten Australian first innings wickets in Melbourne fell to catches behind square.

9 – Despite a poor series with the bat, Paul Collingwood had nine catches – one more than Australian wicketkeeper Haddin.

3 – Collingwood (in Perth) and Kevin Pietersen (in Melbourne) were the only non-wicketkeepers to take three catches in a single match.

And finally, a few random numbers

0 – Stuart Broad’s first-ball duck in his only innings in Brisbane meant he was the only player not to score a run in the entire series.

Siddle gave himself his own birthday present with an opening day hat-trick

26 – Peter Siddle celebrated his 26th birthday by recording a hat-trick on the opening day of the first Test. He was the fifth Australian to register a hat-trick against England.

1 – England’s first innings in Sydney was the first time ever in a Test Match innings that the sixth, seventh and eighth wickets all produced century partnerships (154, 107 and 102 runs, respectively).

9 – England batsmen have scored nine centuries in the series, the most ever by any visiting team in Australia. Other than England, no touring side in Australia has ever scored more than six hundreds in a series.

6 – During the third Test, Michael Hussey recorded his sixth straight score of over fifty in Ashes matches, the only man ever to achieve this feat.

3 – Australia lost by an innings three times during the series – the first time they have done so against any opponent.

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