New Zealand vs West Indies – T20I series preview

Following on from an increasingly uneven series of ODIs that resulted in a 3-0 win for New Zealand, the five match T20I series should be a more competitive affair.

New Zealand and the West Indies have two of the strongest T20I records in the post-WBBL era (2016- present).WT20I winloss 2016-13 Mar 2018

West Indies have never won a T20I (or any other international match) in New Zealand, but the 2016 World T20 Champions begin the series on a run of nine consecutive wins, the 3rd longest such run in women’s T20Is.  New Zealand have won their last six matches, their second longest T20I winning streak.

Neither team were troubled by their most recent T20I series, against the 7th & 8th ranked sides in the world, towards the end of last year:

The West Indies brushed aside Sri Lanka 3-0 in a series of T20Is at Coolidge in October.  Legspinner Afy Fletcher took her career best figures (5-13) in the 2nd match of the series and Deandra Dottin’s 112 in the 3rd match made her the first woman to score two T20I centuries.

New Zealand whitewashed Pakistan 4-0 at Sharjah in November, having made heavy work of the preceding ODI series.  Sophie Devine (158) and Suzie Bates (123) dominated the series run-scoring charts, while medium-pacer Hannah Rowe took the most wickets (6), despite only playing two games.


West Indies captain, Stafanie Taylor is the highest run scorer in T20Is since the start of 2016 (600 runs; ave 42.85; SR 104.52) and her opposite number, Suzie Bates is 3rd (534 runs; ave 35.60; SR 107.22).

Both Taylor (2,474) and Bates (2,337) are within touching distance of Charlotte Edwards’ T20I career runs record (2,605).  Deandra Dottin needs 41 more to become the 5th woman to bring up 2,000 T20I runs.

Dottin and Sophie Devine remain among the most devastating six hitters in world cricket.

T20I balls faced per six since start of 2016 (5+ sixes hit):
10.64 Chloe Tryon SA (11 sixes)
18.27 Sophie Devine NZ (11)
20.50 Lizelle Lee SA (14)
23.68 Harmanpreet Kaur IND (19)
26.42 Deandra Dottin WI (12)

Average rate of balls faced per T20I  six since the start of 2016: 74.58

Devine (147.26) and Dottin (131.86) are also 3rd and 5th respectively in terms of T20I strike rate (100+ balls faced) since the start of 2016.  The average batting SR since the start of 2016 is 98.28.

West Indies average the most runs per wicket (24.93) at the 2nd highest run rate (6.76 rpo) among batting sides since the start of 2016.  The average run rate for the period is 6.22 rpo.

While both teams have their share of powerful batters, they also stand out with the ball.  New Zealand (14.02 at 5.56 rpo) and West Indies (16.62 at 5.86 rpo) are respectively 1st & 2nd in terms of both fewest runs conceded per wicket, and the best overall economy rate as bowling sides since the start of 2016.

New Zealand’s squad contains 3 of the 5 most economical bowlers in T20Is (100+ balls bowled) since the start of 2016, in legspinner Amelia Kerr (4.15 rpo) and pace bowlers Holly Huddlestone (4.42) and Lea Tahuhu (4.75).  The average ER for the period is 6.11 rpo.

New Zealand’s Leigh Kasperek (12.27) and Sophie Devine (13.58) feature at 2nd & 3rd in the bowling averages (10+ wickets taken since the start of 2016), closely followed by West Indies’ Afy Fletcher (13.83), Hayley Matthews (14.35) and Deandra Dottin (14.56) in 4th, 5th & 6th.


West Indies ‘big three’ (Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews) dominate the ICC’s player rankings.  Taylor and Matthews are ranked #1 in batting and bowling respectively, while Matthews, Taylor and Dottin together account for the top 3 spots in the T20I all-rounder rankings.

There may be some concern that none of those three had vintage years with the bat in the most recent WBBL season.  Matthews, Taylor and Dottin didn’t make a half-century between them in WBBL03 and they all finished the season with batting strike rates below the season average (104.88).

Several New Zealand players involved in WBBL03 on the other hand, had great success.  Suzie Bates (5th with 434 runs) Amy Satterthwaite (8th, 368) and Sophie Devine (9th, 355) all finished among the top 10 run-scorers, and all three had above average strike rates.  Devine’s 17 sixes took her WBBL career tally to 40, the highest for any player.  Bates’ 964 WBBL career runs are the most by an overseas player and 10th most overall.

NZ&WI in WBBL03 batting

New Zealanders have been among the most successful overseas batters in the WBBL. Satterthwaite has the 11th most career runs (929), former White Fern, Sara McGlashan is 12th (854), Devine 13th (849), Stafanie Taylor is the highest ranked West Indian in 14th (829), and Rachel Priest is 15th (776).

Wicketkeeper Priest can count herself unlucky that she has recently fallen out of favour for international selection.  Priest finished WBBL03 with her best runs total for a WBBL season (264), and also had the highest batting strike rate of any New Zealand players involved in the tournament this season (118.92).  Priest also topped the charts for runs, strike rate, boundaries and fifties in the KSL in England in 2017, and made the most keeping dismissals in New Zealand’s 2017/18 domestic T20 competition, despite only playing six matches.

Sophie Devine had a stellar season with the ball in WBBL03, finishing as Adelaide Strikers’ equal highest wicket taker.  Devine’s 17 wickets were the 4th most taken in WBBL03.  Lea Tahuhu was Melbourne Renegades’ top wicket taker (16) and 8th overall for the season.  Her Renegades teammate, Hayley Jensen took 15 wickets, resulting in an international recall.  Their captain, Amy Satterthwaite’s 11 wickets combined with her 368 runs earned her player of the tournament.

NZ&WI in WBBL03 bowling

Stafanie Taylor had another good season with the ball for Sydney Thunder (15 wickets), mitigating for her disappointing run with the bat.  Her 4-15 vs Hobart Hurricanes were the 3rd best bowling figures in WBBL03.  Deandra Dottin was solid, if not particularly prolific with the ball for Brisbane Heat, while Hayley Matthews had a difficult season for last-placed Hobart Hurricanes, though she did improve as the season progressed.


Women’s T20I series – New Zealand vs West Indies

Overall record
Matches: 14
New Zealand wins: 8
West Indies wins: 4
Ties: 1
n/r: 1

Most recent results:
NZ won by 32 runs at Queen’s Park, Invercargill, 1 March 2014
NZ won by 24 runs at Queen’s Park, Invercargill, 5 March 2014
NZ won by 8 wickets at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, 8 March 2014
NZ won by 34 runs at Bay Oval No 2, Mount Maunganui, 9 March 2014
NZ won by 7 wickets at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 23 Sep 2014
WI won by 7 wickets at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 25 Sep 2014
Match tied at Arnos Vale, Kingstown, 27 Sep 2014
WI won by 6 runs at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, 31 March 2016 (World T20)


FIXTURES

14th March – 1st T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
16th March – 2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
20th March – 3rd T20I at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
22nd March – 4th T20I at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
25th March – 5th T20I at Seddon Park, Hamilton


SQUADS

New Zealand: Suzie Bates (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Sophie Devine, Natalie Dodd, Maddy Green, Kate Heffernan, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu

West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed (vc), Merissa Aguilleira, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Tremayne Smart

 

 

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ICC Women’s Championship preview – India vs Australia

Both Australia and India sit on 4 points from 3 games after 2-1 series wins in their opening round of ICC Women’s Championship fixtures. The run rates for Australia’s home series vs England (5.19 rpo) and India’s series in South Africa (4.55 rpo) set the record for bilateral series involving those particular combinations of opponents.  There’s no reason to think this series won’t challenge the combined 4.89 rpo that Australia and India scored at when the Indians toured Australia in 2016.

Australia come into the series on the back of ten bilateral ODI series wins in a row (which no doubt makes their World Cup campaign, between the 9th & 10th series wins, sting a little more).  Against India, Australia have won all six previous bilateral ODI series contested since 1984.

Bilateral ODI series results between India & Australia:
AUS 4-0 IND, 1984 in India
AUS 4-3 IND, 2004 in India
AUS 3-0 IND, 2006 in Australia
AUS 5-0 IND, 2008 in Australia
AUS 3-0 IND, 2012 in India
AUS 2-1 IND, 2016 in Australia

The overall record between the two sides currently stands at 34-9 to Australia, but India have recorded a couple of important victories in recent years.

Last 5 IND/AUS ODIs:
Australia won by 101 runs at Manuka Oval, Canberra, 2 Feb 2016
Australia won 6 wickets at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 5 Feb 2016
India won by 5 wickets at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 7 Feb 2016
Australia won by 8 wickets at County Ground, Bristol (World Cup), 12 Jul 2017
India won by 36 runs at County Ground Derby, (World Cup semi-final), 20 Jul 2017

First, India ended a run of six consecutive ODI losses against Australia with a win at Hobart in February 2016.  At the time, this was the highest target India had successfully chased in an ODI (232).  India’s timid display at Bristol in the group stage of the 2017 World Cup suggested Australia still had a significant upper hand in the rivalry, but those thoughts were allayed after the extraordinary semi-final at Derby on 20th July.

Australia’s bowlers had no answer to Hamranpreet Kaur’s storming innings of 171* (115), which took India to the highest ever World Cup total vs Australia 281/4 (despite the match being reduced to 42 overs).

Australia’s last international match in India was their loss to the West Indies in the final of the World T20 on 3rd April 2016.  Their last ODI on Indian soil was their win against the same opponents in the 2013 World Cup final at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, now over five years ago.  That match was marked by one of the great displays of all-round skill and fortitude from Ellyse Perry, battling through an ankle injury.

Perry’s unbeaten fifty partnership for the eighth wicket with captain Jodie Fields took Australia to the highest ever total in a World Cup final, and her opening three overs (3-2-2-3) derailed the West Indian chase before it even had a chance to get going.  Perry’s exceptional final figures of 10-3-19-3 remain the most economical 10 overs bowled in a World Cup knock-out match this century.

The last time India played Australia in a home ODI was 11 months earlier, for a series in March 2012.  The 2nd match of that series was notable for being the last time Australia posted 300 in an ODI.  In the intervening period, Australia have repeatedly expressed a desire to take their scoring to a new level.

Australia remain the most consistent side in terms of 250+ totals (once every 1.93 innings since the start of 2016, the next best is England at once every 3 innings, and the ODI average is 4.57. India are third with a rate of a 250+ total once every 3.56 innings) but have seen several other sides break 300 since they last did.  Australia’s 296/6 in the 2nd Ashes ODI in October was their highest total since the 2012 India series.

300+ ODI totals since Australia last made 300:
4 England; New Zealand
3 South Africa
2 India
1 West Indies


That 2nd ODI on 14th March 2012 also featured another stellar bowling performance from Perry.  Her ODI career best 8.1-3-19-5 are the best ODI figures against India on home soil.

Since that 2013 World Cup ankle injury however, Perry has never quite been as fast or as threatening.  Her heroic World Cup final effort was arguably the last great spell of ODI bowling in her career (Perry was excellent with the ball in the Ashes Tests at Perth in 2014 and Canterbury in 2015).

Perry has of course more than made up for diminished returns with the ball by embarking on an astonishing run of scores with the bat.

Ellyse Perry all-round stats up to & after her last ODI in India (2013 WC final):

Ellyse Perry all-round pre post 2013 WCa.png

When she last played an ODI in India, Perry was one of the world’s great fast bowlers.  She returns to ODI cricket in India as the one of the most consistent batters in World cricket.

In the 2013 World Cup final, Perry came in at #9 and had batted above #7 just once in her 33 previous ODI innings.  In her 38 innings since, Perry has never batted  below #6 and has scored the 3rd most runs (1,932), at comfortably the best batting average (74.30) in women’s ODIs.

The 2017/18 Australian season saw Perry finish as top run scorer in the Ashes, (351 runs) the WBBL (552) and the WNCL (372).  She also won or retained the trophy in all three competitions.

 

For the first time since the 2006/7 Rose Bowl series, Australia will play an ODI series without Alex Blackwell, who announced her retirement last month.  Blackwell’s absence is made up for by the return of Meg Lanning, who missed the 2017/18 Australian season due to a shoulder injury.

Since Lanning debuted in January 2011, the average women’s ODI batter playing at #1-7 in the order has made a century at a rate of one every 52.17 innings.  Lanning’s own rate is one century every 5.72 innings, in other words over nine times better than the average rate.  The next best current international (3+ centuries) during that period is Suzie Bates, at a rate of one century every 10.43 innings.

In run chases, Lanning scores a century once every 4.38 innings, which is over 21 times better than the average rate of 93.64 among #1-7 ODI batters since her debut.  Lanning has scored 8 of the 22 centuries made in ODI chases worldwide since her debut.

Lanning’s average ODI partnership with Ellyse Perry is 109.57, comfortably the highest among any paring to have batted togetehr 5+ times since Lanning’s debut.  Lanning & Perry have made eight century and four fifty partnerships in 18 innings.  They are the only pairing in ODI history to have shared more than one 200+ stand.  In their nine 2nd innings partnerships, Lanning and Perry have failed to reach their fifty partnership just once.

How Australia line-up will be one of the intriguing aspects of this series, with Elyse Villani and Beth Mooney most likely vying for a single spot.  Following the Ashes, Villani is the incumbent but her international returns have never really lived up to expectation.  Mooney’s stronger ODI stats, excellent form in the Ashes T20Is, plus a century in the first warm-up game of this tour may be hard to ignore.

A batter Australia are yet to see the best of in ODIs is Ashleigh Gardner.  Gardner’s clean-striking and devastating power led to a record 21 sixes at a rate of 1 every 11.9 balls-faced during the most recent WBBL season.  If Gardner finds a way to emulate such feats in ODIs, it could well be the key to Australia reaching their desired higher totals.


Smriti Mandhana’s 219 runs in South Africa were the most ever scored for India in a 3 match ODI series.  Mithali Raj, who sets a record every time she scores a run in ODIs, had a disappointing ODI series in South Africa (70 runs at 23.33) but took player of the series in the T20Is that followed.

Raj’s ODI average of 34.51 vs Australia is her lowest for any single opponent, though it rises to 41.62 when playing the Australians in India.  Raj has yet to make an ODI century in 31 attempts vs Australia (her HS is 89), while her younger counterparts Harmamnpreet Kaur, Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana have all reached three figures against the Australians.

Kaur’s 171* in the World Cup semi-final is the 2nd highest ODI score vs Australia, and her average of 56.87 is the highest of any player to have batted 10+ times against Australia.  Lanning is the only member of the Australian squad to have made an ODI century vs India.

Mandhana and Raut will hope their success vs Australia translates to home soil. While captian Raj and vice-captain Kaur have strong ODI records at home and away, the rest of India’s main batters are mostly yet to prove themselves at home.

Mandhana’s 714 runs in 19 innings at 47.60 (SR 91.89, 3×100, 4×50) away compares starkly with a modest 438 in 16 at 23.05 (SR 65.37, 3×50) at home.  Raut and Deepti Sharma’s averages, and especially their strike rates, will have to drastically improve at home if they’re to have a (positive) impact on the series.

India WODI batting home

In part this is due to a lack of opportunity.  India last played a home international fixture 16 months ago, when West indies visited for 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is in November 2016.  The sparse nature of the scheduling means ‘form’ is not something that often has a chance to manifest for more than a couple of weeks in women’s international cricket, which makes the performances of Raj, Perry, Lanning, etc all the more remarkable.


This will be the first International tour of Asia for Australia’s exciting legspinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, as well as offspinner Gardner. They and left-arm orthodox Jess Jonassen will hope Indian conditions prove more favourable than those experienced in the Ashes ODIs.

Australian spinners took 11 wickets at 37.00 and 5.19 rpo during the Ashes, compared with 15 at 19.86 at 4.65 rpo for their pace bowlers.  Overall however, spinners have been the most successful bowlers so far in the the 2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship,

2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship bowlingICCWC bowling

While spin will play a pivotal role in this series, the only bowlers in either squad (with 5+ wickets) to average under 30 against their respective opponents are pace bowlers Shikha Pandey of India (10 wickets at 16.50) and Ellyse Perry of Australia (28 wickets at 18.25).

 


ICC Women’s Championship 2017-20 – India vs Australia 

FIXTURES

12th March – 1st ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara
15th March – 2nd ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara
18th March – 3rd ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara

SQUADS

India: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma

Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

ICC Women’s Championship preview – New Zealand vs West Indies

Stats derived from ESPNcricinfo statsguru.

The second round of 2017-20 ICC Women’s Championship fixtures begins at Bert Sutcliffe Oval on 4th March, when New Zealand play host to West Indies.

The series will be the first major examination for two sides that disappointed at the 2017 World Cup, both being eliminated before the knock-out stages.

2013 finalists, West Indies could only manage consolation victories vs Sri Lanka and Pakistan during their dismal campaign.  New Zealand were unlucky with the weather (their crucial group match with South Africa was the only game abandoned during the tournament), but came off comfortably second best in their group stage encounters against eventual semi-finalists Australia, England and India.

Since then, the West Indies have brushed aside Sri Lanka 3-0 in an error-strewn series at home in October 2017, and New Zealand have beaten Pakistan 2-1 in the UAE in October/November.

New Zealand’s loss at Sharjah on 5th November was their first defeat in any format against Pakistan.  That result would ordinarily prove costly in what looks set to be a hard fought ICC Women’s Championship, but the White Ferns are fortunate that they have automatically qualified as hosts for the 2021 World Cup.

In ODIs, New Zealand and West Indies have met 16 times. New Zealand have won eight and West Indies seven, with one no result.

The contest has been marked by extreme home advantage, with West Indies winning six of seven meetings in the Caribbean, and the White Ferns winning all three meetings in New Zealand.

Last 8 ODI results between NZ & WI:

NZ won by 9 wickets at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
NZ won by 94 runs at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
NZ won by 107 runs at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, 2014
WI won by 5 wickets at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 65 runs at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 8 wickets at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
WI won by 4 runs at Warner Park St Kitts, 2014
NZ won by 8 wickets at Taunton, 2017 World Cup

This will be West Indies women’s second ever tour of New Zealand. The previous tour, in 2014, finished with series whitewashes for New Zealand in both ODIs (3-0) and T20Is (4-0).

West Indies have won just 2 of their last 11 ODI fixtures away from home, with their only victories in that sequence being their encounters with Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the group stages of the 2017 World Cup.

Since West Indies last visited New Zealand, the White Ferns have won 14 of 21 matches at home, with their only losses coming at the hands of England and Australia.

At neutral venues, specifically their six World Cup meetings, New Zealand have the upper hand over West Indies, 4-1 with one match abandoned during the 2005 World Cup.  The West Indies only victory vs New Zealand in World Cups was in 2013 in India, perhaps not coincidentally in lower, slower conditions that are most akin to their own at home.

West Indies captain, Stafanie Taylor has the most runs (526) and most wickets (21) in NZ/WI ODI contests and also has the highest individual score in these matches (135* at Sabina Park in Oct 2013), although her record in the few matches she’s played in New Zealand (3) is less impressive – 77 runs at 25.66 and 2 wickets at 37.00.

The run rate in women’s ODIs has seen a marked increase over the last few years, in the wake of expanded pools of contracted international players and nascent professional domestic T20 leagues in the form of WBBL and KSL.

Women’s ODI run rate:
2014 – 3.84 rpo (38 matches)
2015 – 3.91 rpo (34 matches)
2016 – 4.33 rpo (57 matches)
2017 – 4.41 rpo (70 matches)
2018 – 4.55 rpo (3 matches)

The ODI playing conditions have also changed since the 2017 World Cup, which may even see run rates escalate further.

As the below tables indicate, not only have West Indies failed to keep pace with the increasing ODI run rates of recent years, they’ve fallen back from the position they were in previously.  West Indies are one of the few batting sides to have a lower run rate, and to average fewer runs per wicket in the 2016-2018 period than they did in 2013-15.  By contrast, New Zealand are one of the sides at the forefront of the batting revolution.


Women’s ODI win/loss record 2013-2015
Average run rate: 3.94 rpo   Average runs per wicket: 23.31

Team Win / Loss W/L Ratio Bat ave RR Bowl ave. ER
AUS 19 / 5 3.800 32.92 4.75 22.67 4.16
ENG 18 / 9 2.000 29.56 4.54 24.17 4.20
SA 18 / 11 1.636 23.45 3.68 18.98 3.58
IND 12 / 8 1.500 26.85 4.02 21.12 3.77
WI 20 / 18 1.111 22.81 4.01 23.07 3.91
NZ 16 / 16 1.000 26.68 4.38 22.85 3.89
PAK 13 / 19 0.684 19.80 3.46 21.82 3.58
SL 6 / 24 0.250 18.20 3.50 32.50 4.49
BAN 2 / 8 0.250 16.75 3.22 26.27 3.77
IRE 0 / 6 0.000 9.90 2.56 28.93 4.56

 

Women’s ODI win/loss record since the start of 2016
Average run rate: 4.38 rpo   Average runs per wicket: 26.89

Team Win / Loss W/L Ratio Bat ave RR Bowl ave. ER
AUS 22 / 6 3.666 39.41 5.22 25.44 4.52
IND 25 / 7 3.571 37.96 4.67 20.58 3.84
ENG 21 / 6 3.500 33.19 5.25 23.10 4.12
NZ 17 / 10 1.700 33.44 5.07 25.19 4.19
SA 23 / 24 0.958 26.82 4.50 26.09 4.29
WI 9 / 12 0.750 20.82 3.75 24.22 4.03
BAN 3 / 8 0.375 16.28 3.04 25.14 4.22
SL 4 / 22 0.181 18.12 3.54 36.08 4.68
PAK 3 / 20 0.150 20.99 3.75 39.35 5.36
IRE 1 / 13 0.076 17.30 3.37 43.39 5.14

Since the start of 2016 (essentially the post-WBBL era), New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite has the highest batting average in women’s ODIs (76.41) and only South Africa’s Mignon du Preez (1,361) has scored more runs than Satterthwaite’s 1,299 in that period.  Du Preez has played 47 ODIs to Satterthwaite’s 27.

Satterthwaite is one of six New Zealanders among the top 25 in terms of ODI batting strike rate (200+ BF) since the start of 2016.  Only England, with seven, have more players that highly placed.  The first West Indian on that list is Deandra Dottin in 26th (76.83).  Dottin is the only West Indian with a strike above the ODI average for the period (68.41).

Dottin, who made 104* vs Pakistan at the World Cup, is also the only West Indian to have made an ODI century since the start of 2016.  Stafanie Taylor’s batting average of 34.31 is relatively modest, especially given her career record, but that still makes her West Indies most consistent performer with the bat in that time-frame.  Taylor has more 50+ scores (7) than all her her teammates combined (6) since the start of 2016.

Women;s ODI batting pre&post WBBL

Where West Indies continue to be effective is in their bowling economy rate.  Only India (3.84 rpo) have a better ODI ER than West Indies 4.03 since the start of 2016.  Once again however, West Indies bowlers fare less well away from the Caribbean (ER of 4.42 rpo away vs 3.48 rpo at home).

Among bowlers to have taken 12+ ODI wickets since the start of 2016, New Zealand have three bowlers among the top six in the averages.

Best ODI bowling average since start of 2016 (12+ wickets):

16.74 RS Gayakwad IND (39 wickets)
17.31 LM Kasperek NZ (16)
17.53 HR Huddleston NZ (30)
17.77 S Pandey IND (45)
18.53 HL Ferling AUS (13)
18.92 HM Rowe NZ (13)
19.75 ASS Fletcher WI (24)
19.78 Khadija Tul Kubra BAN (19)
20.14 E Bisht (35)
20.73 SR Taylor (19)

Afy Fletcher, in 7th is the first West Indian on the list, closely followed by Taylor in 10th. Fletcher and Taylor are also among three West Indians to feature in the top 10 for best ODI economy rate since the start of 2016 (although one of them, Shakera Selman is injured so won’t feature in this series).

Best ODI economy rate since the start of 2016 (50+ overs bowled):

2.87 M Joshi IND
3.42 E Bisht IND
3.44 GM Harris AUS
3.47 LA Marsh ENG
3.49 SR Taylor WI
3.53 SC Selman WI
3.57 ASS Fletcher WI
3.59 Poonam Yadav IND
3.61 IMHC Joyce IRE
3.61 DB Sharma IND

A few economical bowlers can only do so much, however.  For West Indies to return to the top ranks of women’s ODI cricket, their batters must adapt to a rapidly evolving game.  There are few places with more favourable conditions to begin that process than New Zealand.

Since the start of 2016, the ODI run rate in New Zealand has been the second highest in the world (4.99 rpo), and wickets have been harder to come by (a cost of 35.93 runs per wicket) than in any other nation.

Women’s ODI run rate by host nation since the start of 2016:

Country ODIs Runs Wkts Balls Ave. RR
AUS 11 5087 160 6112 31.79 4.99
NZ 11 4958 138 5961 35.93 4.99
ENG 33 13753 465 17415 29.58 4.74
SA 23 8996 327 12240 27.51 4.41
IRE 6 1965 82 2802 23.96 4.21
UAE 3 1078 47 1585 22.94 4.08
SL 24 8063 344 12331 23.44 3.92
BAN 5 1652 76 2555 21.74 3.88
IND 6 1920 84 3152 22.86 3.65
WI 8 2519 136 4269 18.52 3.54

WBBL03 semi-final notes: Strikers vs Sixers

Sydney Sixers 138/5 beat Adelaide Strikers 121/9 by 17 runs.
Cricket Australia scorecard

Sophie Devine was a WBBL player before the WBBL existed, or anyone had imagined the type of cricket being played in WBBL03.  Since the tournament’s inception, Devine has led the way in six hitting, both in terms of the total number of sixes and the rate at which they are hit, but for the first time she’ll finish a WBBL season without clearing the boundary rope most often.

Ashleigh Gardner’s six sixes vs the Strikers today rocketed her past Devine (and Lizelle Lee) to a new record total of twenty sixes for the season.

While the rate at which Devine hits sixes has been largely consistent throughout her WBBL career, Gardner has significantly improved with each passing season, and in WBBL03 she’s currently clearing the rope at an unprecedented rate of once every two overs.

Balls faced per six (3+ sixes hit) :

WBBL01 (season ave 121.6)
18.1 SFM Devine (Strikers)
19.0 NE Stalenberg (Thunder)
23.4 GM Harris (Heat)
29.4 SJ McGlashan (Sixers)
54.6 MM Lanning (Stars)
55.0 A Gardner (Sixers)

WBBL02 (season ave 80.1)
15.4 SFM Devine (Strikers)
20.4 KH Brunt (Scorchers)
23.0 H Kaur (Thunder)
26.0 GM Harris (Renegades)
27.7 A Gardner (Sixers)
43.0 AJ Healy (Sixers)

WBBL03 (season average 65.00)
11.7 A Gardner (Sixers)
17.8 SFM Devine (Strikers)
18.5 L Lee (Stars)
21.1 JL Jonassen (Heat)
24.5 CJ Koski (Renegades)
27.7 DM Kimmince (Heat)

Gardner’s 2nd six of her semi-final innings was also the 200th struck in WBBL03.  The season tally now stands at 204 with a game to go.  There were 111 sixes struck in WBBL01 and 162 in WBBL02.  The Sixers have, appropriately enough, hit 46 of the 204 sixes (22.5%) this season.  The next best teams (Sydney Thunder & Brisbane Heat) have 28.

Gardner needs 48 runs to break the 1,000 WBBL career runs barrier. If she does so from fewer than 40 deliveries, Gardner will break the record for fewest balls faced to reach that mark.  The record (800 BF) is currently held by her Sixers teammate Alyssa Healy.

Gardner’s 72 (45) was the 2nd highest score made in a WBBL knock-out game, beaten only by Healy’s 77 (45) in Sixers’ semi-final win vs Hobart Hurricanes in WBBL02.  Gardner & Perry’s 87 run 2nd wicket stand, of which Gardner contributed 69 runs, was the highest partnership in a WBBL knock-out match, and the Sixers highest ever partnership vs the Scorchers.

Adelaide Strikers’ Tammy Beaumont’s 50 (46) in the semi-final made her the first player to score a half-century in a WBBL knock-out game and end up on the losing side.


As well as holding the record for most WBBL career wickets (69), Sydney Sixers’ Sarah Aley has taken by far the most wickets in WBBL knock-out matches (12).

WBBL Most knock out wickets

Aley is the only bowler to have taken a four wicket haul in an elimination game.  Her 4-23 in Sixers’ victory over Perth Scorchers in the final of WBBL02 were the best figures in a WBBL knock-out match, until her own 4-18 vs Strikers today.

Best bowling figures in a WBBL knock-out match:

4-18 Sarah Aley (Sixers) v Strikers at Adelaide Oval,  02 Feb ’18,  WBBL03 S-F
4-23 Sarah Aley (Sixers) v Scorchers at WACA,  28 Jan ’17,  WBBL02 Final
3-9   Lisa Sthalekar (Sixers) v Hurricanes at MCG,  22 Jan ’16,  WBBL01 S-F
3-15 Dane van Niekerk (Sixers) v Hurricanes at The Gabba,  25 Jan ’17,  WBBL02 S-F
3-17 Emma King (Scorchers) v Thunder at Perth Stadium,  01 Feb ’18,  WBBL03 S-F
3-20 Rene Farrell (Thunder) v Scorchers at Adelaide Oval,  21 Jan ’16,  WBBL01 S-F
3-21 Erin Osborne (Thunder) v Sixers at MCG,  24 Jan ’16,  WBBL01 Final

Aley and Garth’s astonishing combined spell of 6 wickets for 3 runs in 18 balls not only effectively ended Adelaide Strikers chances of reaching the final, it also allowed the Sixers to rid themselves of an unwanted record they’d held since their second match of WBBL01.  The Sixers 15/5 vs Perth Scorchers at Aquinas College on 12th December 2015 were the most wickets lost in the powerplay of a WBBL innings until Aley & Garth  reduced the Strikers to 23/6 in the semi-final at Adelaide Oval.


It wasn’t the most talked about off-season move, but Erin Burns’ move from Hobart Hurricanes to Sydney Sixers was one of the signings of the season.  She won’t finish the season with a record runs total or an eye-catching high score, but Burns’ contributions have been key to the Sixers this season.  Before Gardner and Healy came back into form with a vengeance towards the end of WBBL03, it was often Burns that helped keep Sixers’ innings on track during the early-mid point of the group stage.

There was a reminder of that today when Sixers looked as though they mightn’t capitalise on Gardner’s innings.  It was Burns who hit a breezy 25 (17), including 12 off her last 6 balls faced to ensure the Strikers would need the best part of 7 runs an over to win.

Burns’ season strike rate of 118.25 is the 10th highest among players who have faced 100+ deliveries in WBBL03.  All but one of the players above her on the list have played international cricket.  Burns also has the most catches for Sixers this season (9).

 


Most WBBL career runs:
1,347  BL Mooney (Heat)
1,330  EA Perry (Sixers)
1,287  EJ Villani (Scorchers)
1,144  AJ Healy (Sixers)
1,134  AJ Blackwell (Thunder)
1,062  MM Lanning (Stars)
1,040  RL Haynes (Thunder)
983     NE Bolton (Scorchers)
964     SW Bates (Strikers/Scorchers)
952     A Gardner (Sixers)

Most WBBL career wickets:
69  Sarah Aley (Sixers)
54  Rene Farrell (Thunder)
53  Molly Strano (Renegades)
49  Katherine Brunt (Scorchers)
47  Nicola Carey (Thunder)
42  Marizanne Kapp (Sixers)
40  Amy Satterthwaite (Renegades/Hurricanes)
39  Jemma Barsby (Heat); Jess Jonassen (Heat)
37  Amanda Wellington (Strikers)

 

WBBL03 semi-final notes: Scorchers vs Thunder

Perth Scorchers 148/2 beat Sydney Thunder 121/8 by 27 runs.
Cricket Australia scorecard

There have been twenty-three 50+ opening stands in the WBBL this season.  Only five of those have been made in the 1st innings, including Nicole Bolton & Elyse Villani’s 65 run partnership at Perth Stadium today. Bolton & Villani’s partnership for Perth Scorchers was the second highest partnership in a WBBL knock-out match, beaten only by their own 67 run opening partnership vs Brisbane Heat in the semi-final of WBBL02.  Natalie Sciver & Heather Graham’s unbeaten 62 run stand for Scorchers 3rd wicket was the 3rd highest partnership in a WBBL elimination match.

WBBL highest knock out partnerships

Bolton and Villani have been by far the strongest opening partnership in the WBBL this season, having amassed over 300 more runs than the next most successful pairing (Beth Mooney & Kirby Short of Brisbane Heat) and making twice as many 50+ stands than any other partnership.  Bolton & Villani have faced 47.3 overs more than their nearest challengers, and on average face a fraction over 7 overs per opening partnership.

Their three 100+ stands this season also make Bolton & Villani the only WBBL partnership to have shared more than one century stand for any wicket over the course of their WBBL careers.

WBBL03 opening partnerships


Sydney Thunder’s regular opening pair of Rachael Haynes & Pachel Priest, while not as impressive as Bolton & Villani, had played a large part in their success up to this point.  As Haynes’ form tailed off after a breakneck start to the season however, the weaknesses in Thunder’s middle order began to tell.

Sydney Thunder’s top scorers in WBBL02 (average batting SR in WBBL02 was 101.22):

Alex Blackwell 386 runs at SR 109.03 SR
Harmanpreet Kaur 296 runs at SR 116.99
Stafanie Taylor 289 runs at SR 105.09
Rachael Haynes 264 runs at SR 106.02

Those players in WBBL03 (average batting SR in WBBL03 is currently 105.15):

Alex Blackwell 338 runs at SR 95.48
Harmanpreet Kaur 107 runs at SR 95.53
Stafanie Taylor 168 runs at SR 84.00
Rachael Haynes 426 runs at SR 120.67

Blackwell’s runs total is still impressive but her SR less so, especially in light of an increased rate of scoring across the board in WBBL03.  Blackwell’s record is mitigated somewhat by the fact that her low SR is partly due to her performing the anchor role in a number of successful low-scoring, low-pressure chases after the Thunder’s bowlers had contained the opposition.

Her 1st innings SR displays better intent at SR 107.17 in comparison with a more sedate SR of 75.57 in WBBL03 chases.  However, Blackwell was unable to alter her approach to the chase when the Thunder’s expansive openers were dismissed early and a more challenging target of 149 was required today.

Taylor’s season with the bat was a write-off in all respects.  Whether measured by total runs, or strike rate batting 1st (89.26) or 2nd (75.95), she rarely managed to bat with the impetus displayed in previous seasons.  Both Blackwell and Taylor hit five sixes last season but could manage just one apiece this time around, again despite sixes being struck at record rates in WBBL03 compared with previous seasons.

Harmanpreet Kaur largely spent her abbreviated WBBL spell at #5 and had little chance to influence the innings.  That Kaur and especially Taylor, tend to bat higher in the order for their respective national teams than they did for the Thunder this season, begs the question of whether the Thunder had the right batting order.  Fran Wilson’s semi-final knock of 46 off 28 from #7, well after the game had gone, did similar.  A Thunder side stacked with international batting talent only reached 150 once all season.

Haynes’ season began with 268 runs and four half-centuries in five innings.  In the following ten innings she scored 158 runs and had a high score of 43.  While the Thunder continued to churn out the results required for qualification, in retrospect there were signs that they might struggle in a high pressure knock-out match.

Having been one of the most impressive chasing sides all season, against Adelaide Strikers at Wagga Wagga on 21 January the Thunder could only muster a tie in pursuit of a modest 115 target, and were never in contention during the super over.

Three days later at Manuka Oval, the Thunder made surprisingly heavy work chasing down a target of 69 vs Melbourne Renegades, finishing with a 4 wicket victory.  They then looked powerless in failing to defend a total of 145 vs Brisbane Heat on 27th January.  The next day, the Thunder could only post 117/8 in their final group match vs the Heat. They came out the victors in that game but were aided by the Heat having to chase at a higher rate than usual, in an attempt to improve their net run rate.

Haynes’ massive improvement, the signing of Rachel Priest (264 runs at 118.91) and a return to form for Naomi Stalenberg (227 runs at 112.37), combined with strong bowling performances throughout the season largely made up for the fact that Sydney Thunder’s top three run-scorers from last year were progressing so slowly in the middle order.  In the semi-final their luck ran out.

The Thunder have averaged 7.42 wickets taken per innings against all opponents apart from Perth Scorchers this season, but have now taken just 10 Scorchers wickets in their three encounters in WBBL03 combined.  Their semi-final haul today, and the two wickets they took vs the Scorchers at the WACA on 8th January were the only instances of the Thunder taking fewer than four wickets in an innings this season.

At Perth Stadium the Thunder duly conceded their highest 1st innings total all season, and with Priest and Haynes facing 22 balls in total, the semi-final game was virtually gone by the end of the 5th over of the chase.


Katherine Brunt continues to be England’s  most impressive export to the WBBL. Brunt has taken a wicket in every match she’s played this season and her 23 wickets in WBBL03 mean she is just one scalp away from becoming the first overseas player and fourth bowler in all to take 50 WBBL career wickets.

Throughout WBBL03, commentators have repeatedly suggested that Natalie Sciver is having an indifferent season.  Sciver may not always have looked that fluent, but she has scored more runs in WBBL03 (337) than she did in her first two WBBL seasons combined (271).  Sciver, who has largely batted at #3-4 for Scorchers, has the 3rd most runs among player not to have opened the batting this season, and has the 8th highest SR (119.50) of any player to have faced 100+ deliveries.  Only Villani, Mooney, Haynes and Healy have more runs while maintaining a higher striker rate.  By contrast, Sydney Thunder’s Stafanie Taylor, who has mostly occupied same batting role, has the 3rd lowest batting SR (84.00) in the competition among the 49 players who have faced 100+ balls so far this season.

While Sydney Thunder’s Taylor and Blackwell offered diminished returns compared with last season, Perth Scorchers have managed to make up for the loss of Suzie Bates with Brunt’s best season with the ball, unexpectedly effective bowling returns from Nicole Bolton, and career best batting seasons for Villani, Bolton and new signing Sciver.

All three are having their best seasons in terms of total runs scored, individual high scores, number of fifties, number of sixes and batting strike rate.  Bolton in particular, with both bat and ball, is unrecognisable compared with the player who began WBBL01.

WBBL01 batting (average batting SR 97.61)
Elyse Villani (Scorchers) 326 runs at SR 112.41;  HS 72*;  2×50;  2×6
Nicole Bolton (Scorchers) 182 runs at SR 83.4;  HS 45
Natalie Sciver (Stars) 154 runs at SR 90.58;  HS 33;  1×6

WBBL02 batting (average batting SR 101.22)
Elyse Villani (Scorchers) 442 runs at SR 107.02;  HS 74;  5×50;  5×6
Nicole Bolton (Scorchers) 324 runs at SR 92.51;  HS 53;  1×50;  1×6
Natalie Sciver (Stars) 117 runs at SR 104.46:  HS 37;  1×6

WBBL03 batting (average batting SR 105.15)
Elyse Villani (Scorchers) 519 runs at SR 131.06;  HS 84*;  5×50;  7×6
Nicole Bolton (Scorchers) 477 runs at SR 103.24;  HS 71;  3×50;  10×6
Natalie Sciver (Scorchers) 337 runs at SR 119.50;  HS 84;  2×50;  3×6