The Black Caps position at or near the top of this World Cup table owes itself to a number of factors, none more so than their love affair with the dot ball.

Yes, the humble dot ball, that most charmless of cricket's myriad mini-dramas, has emerged as the key weapon in the race to the World Cup: specifically, how to bowl more and how to face less.

Statistics compiled by Wellington-based firm Dot Loves Data – a company named after their founders' love of the dot ball – has revealed that 85 per cent of matches at this World Cup