By Ronan Alexander

Scoring more boundaries than your opponents in T20 cricket is crucial. If you achieve this, you will win around 85% of matches according to research by Dan Weston, Senior Data Analyst at Kent CCC. With the 2023 Vitality Blast getting underway on Saturday, here is an in-depth look at who the best boundary scorers and preventors are, as well as the best six hitters and preventors. Beginning with a look at how teams have performed in these departments over the last two seasons, then crunching the numbers for individual players at each county before assessing who the top performers are overall.

T20 boundary stats for 2021 & 2022 Vitality Blast

Nottinghamshire have the best net boundary percentage, with four other sides coming out positively here. Meanwhile, Worcestershire rank last for boundary percentage and balls per six. Birmingham rank the strongest for net balls per six.

Birmingham Bears

As previously mentioned, the Bears had the best net balls per six during 2021-2022. They lost Carlos Brathwaite (11.44 BP6) and Adam Hose (13.86 BP6). However, have replaced them with Glenn Maxwell (14.22) and Moeen Ali (12.32) so can expect them to again be strong six hitters this year. Paul Stirling and Chris Benjamin also stand out as strong boundary hitters. With the ball, the Birmingham spin attack impresses as all six spinners boast boundary percentages below 17% which will be crucial in restricting teams. The attack has versatility too, with some of them being capable of bowling in the powerplay as well as the middle overs.

Left = batting. Right = bowling


Having the second worst net balls per six in the North Group, Derbyshire have made some astute signings with the ball to help with this. Zaman Khan, who won the PSL this year with Lahore Qalandars, grabbing 15 wickets in the process. Meanwhile, Zak Chappell posts solid numbers and has the lowest boundary percentage for any Derbyshire bowler after doing well when called upon by Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire over the last two seasons. Luis Reece is the main man with the bat, Haider Ali will be aiming to recapture his best form whilst Leus du Plooy and Wayne Madsen provide reliability in the middle order. Meanwhile, they also boast a varied spin attack with off-spin of Alex Thomson, left arm spin with Mark Watt and Mattie McKiernan providing a leg-break option.


Durham have the second poorest boundary percentage with the bat. They did try to improve this with the signing of Tristan Stubbs but unfortunately, he will no longer be featuring. Liam Trevaskis is an under the radar all rounder who boasts impressive numbers with bat and ball in both boundary and six hitting/prevention. Scottish opening batter Michael Jones is someone who likes to exploit the powerplay which is reflected by his BP of 20.26. Ben Raine will likely operate his seam in the middle overs looking to tie batters down. Durham also have new Dutch duo Brandon Glover and Bas de Leede in their ranks who worked under Ryan Campbell during his time as Netherlands coach. The Chester-le-Street side have excellent batting depth, with Scott Borthwick sometimes seen as low down as 10, but they’ve struggled to find a formula that works. Perhaps a fresh set of eyes overlooking the team in Campbell will find a unit that works better.

Lancashire Lightning

The Old Trafford outfit have been successful over the past two seasons, finishing second and third in their groups and lost out in last years final by only one run. A lot of their success comes on home soil with their spin attack managing to prevent boundaries. Parkinson, Hartley, Croft and Wells all have a boundary percentage below 14 and Lancs rank second overall in net boundary percentage and balls per six. They will miss the firepower of Tim David and Finn Allen but have added Colin de Grandhomme and Daryl Mitchell this term. They also have a potent seam attack and depending on availability of England trio Jos Buttler, Phil Salt and Liam Livingstone, they can again expect to reach the latter stages of the competition.

Leicestershire Foxes

Paul Nixon’s side have narrowly missed out on quarter final qualification the last two seasons, but are on the right tracks, posting a positive net boundary percentage and balls per six over this period. The emergence of Rehan Ahmed has been a well talked about topic, and they’ve recruited smartly too. Re-signing Naveen-ul-Haq who continues to impress over the globe is an excellent addition. They’ll also have Wiaan Mulder in their ranks who continues to strive for a regular spot in South Africa’s side across all three formats. Callum Parkinson and Aaron Lilley continue to do well and Nick Welch, an opening batter who has been smashing it at 2nd XI level has come into the side and looks to be aggressive from the start. Although a small sample of 109 balls, only Jordan Thompson in the North Group boasts a better balls per six ratio than him (9.08). He’ll be joined up top by Sol Budinger, a recent recruit from Notts who has also been a standout n 2’s cricket but hasn’t yet properly got going at first team level, but definitely has high potential. The 23-year-old struggled for opportunities at Trent Bridge with Alex Hales and Joe Clarke ahead of him, but at Grace Road, he should get a full campaign and can really see what he’s all about.

Northamptonshire Steelbacks

After finishing bottom in 2021, Northants bounced back last year and looked set to qualify before losing their last four consecutive games to end a point short of reaching the quarter finals. They do perform negatively in both metrics looked at in this article, but it is perhaps the difference in sixes that is the main one to have let them down. Andrew Tye has put pen to paper as overseas having done well at Durham last season with David Willey also re-joining as skipper. Emilio Gay is another exciting batter who has done well in red-ball cricket but hasn’t played a lot of T20 yet, but may get a go this time round.

Nottinghamshire Outlaws

Having topped the group in 2021, Notts missed out on the knockout stages last season with a disappointing 5th place finish. It appeared that the Outlaws prioritised the red ball game last year, and got their reward with promotion to Division One. However, they didn’t maximise their overseas slots in the T20’s and paid the price. That can’t be said this time round with the signing of arguably the best white ball quick on the planet, Shaheen Afridi. Colin Munro also comes in having previously been overseas at Worcestershire, with Dan Christian retiring. Olly Stone has joined but remains an injury doubt and has been confirmed he’ll miss the start of the competition with a hamstring problem. Notts have the highest batting boundary percentage in the group.

Worcestershire Rapids

The worst performing side in terms of boundaries and a bottom place finish in the table last year, the Rapids have looked to shake up their side ahead of the new season. Moeen Ali and Ed Barnard have departed to Birmingham, but the pears have added Adam Hose to their ranks. Jack Haynes has impressed in his short career so far and overseas Kiwi duo Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell look like top additions, and what the side needed. This means last year’s overseas contingent of Dwayne Bravo and Ben Dwarshuis won’t be returning. Josh Tongue returning from injury is a big plus, with fellow young seamers Ben Gibbon, Mitchell Stanley and Dillon Pennington all aiming to make an impact. Certainly prefer how their squad looks this year compared to last.


Have made it to the quarter finals in each of the last two years, but think they may have a bit of work to do if they are to repeat that this time round. No Finn Allen this year and Tom Kohler-Cadmore departing for Somerset leaves a hole at the top of the order which will be filled by Shan Masood. Although having him and Dawid Malan, both excellent anchors, may not be completely ideal unless Malan finds the form he had in The Hundred. England selection is a worry too, with Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook and Joe Root in the Test team. Ben Mike, Jordan Thompson and David Wiese provide nice lower order hitting, but I’m intrigued to see how they do in the middle overs. Malan and Masood could build the perfect platform, with Adam Lyth a frequent boundary and six hitter from the top. Have a nicely balanced attack at their disposal too.

Leading performers




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