One of the most distinct characteristics of T20 cricket is the misery that batters pile on bowlers through their big-hitting.

The towering sixes and darting fours might be entertaining for the audience but results in bowlers getting smacked for plenty of runs, with some even being added to the undesired list of most runs conceded by a bowler in T20 cricket.

The name on top of that list is Mattie Mckiernan, who currently holds the record for the most expensive bowling spell in T20 cricket. 

Playing for Derbyshire, spinner Mattie Mckiernan conceded a whopping 82 runs in his quota of four overs against Somerset in a T20 Blast quarter-final encounter in 2022. The leg-spinner's figures of 4-0-82-0 surpassed Sarmad Anwar, who was hammered for 81 runs in his four overs at an economy rate of 20.25 while representing Sialkot Stallions in the Super Eight T-20 Cup in 2011.

To add to his woes, Sarmad bowled four no-balls in his spell against Lahore Lions. He last played a cricket game in December 2014 whilst not having a single international cap to his name.

Before Sarmad Anwar took the top spot, Sussex pacer Robert Kirtley held the unwanted record, giving 67 runs against Essex in 2008.

Most runs conceded by bowlers in domestic T20s
Player Team Opponent Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Mattie Mckiernan Derbyshire Somerset 4 0 82 0
Sarmad Anwar Sialkot Stallions Lahore Lions 4 0 81 0
Ben Sanderson Northamptonshire Yorkshire 4 0 77 0
Qais Ahmad Quetta Gladiators Multan Sultans 4 0 77 2
Ben Mike Yorkshire Derbyshire 4 0 74 1

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Kasun Rajitha holds the unwanted distinction for the most expensive bowling spell in T20 internationals. In the first T20I of the 2019 tour of Australia, Rajitha was taken to the cleaners in his second (21 runs) and third overs (25 runs) after conceding 11 in his opening over. He ended with figures of 0/75 in four overs.

This fixture ended up being the last time he represented the Lankan Lions in the T20I format.

Most runs conceded by bowlers in T20Is
Player Team Opponent Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Kasun Rajitha Sri Lanka Australia 4 0 75 0
Chris Sole Scotland New Zealand 4 0 72 1
Tunahan Turan Turkey Czech Republic 4 0 70 1
Barry J McCarthy Ireland Afghanistan 4 0 69 0
Kyle Abbott South Africa West Indies 4 0 68 1

Meanwhile, Gujarat pacer Mohit Sharma holds the unwanted record for the most expensive bowling spell in Indian T20 League history.

During an Indian T20 League 2024 match, Mohit Sharma conceded 73 runs in his four overs against Delhi at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

The previous record was held by former Hyderabad fast bowler Basil Thampi, who gave away 70 runs off four overs against Bengaluru in 2018.

Most runs conceded by bowlers in Indian T20 League
Player Team Opponent Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Mohit Sharma Gujarat Delhi 4 0 73 0
Basil Thampi Hyderabad Bengaluru 4 0 70 0
Yash Dayal Gujarat Kolkata 4 0 69 0
Reece Topley Bengaluru Hyderabad 4 0 68 0
Ishant Sharma Hyderabad Chennai 4 0 66 0

Featured photo: AFP / MICHAEL SHEEHAN